World Trade Center Rising | The B1M


[PRESIDENT BUSH]: The resolve of our great
nation is being tested. But make no mistake, we will show the world that we will pass this
test. [FRED MILLS]: Everyone remembers where they
were on the morning of September 11 2001. The horror of that day will never be forgotten.
Its impact has literally shaped the world that we now all live in. In the aftermath, the former World Trade Center
site in New York came to be called ground zero; a focal point for recovery efforts and
for people’s grief. In time, it also became the focus of determined efforts to rebuild;
a desire to demonstrate the resolve of America and citizen’s across the free world, and
to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. In November 2001, New York’s then Governor
George Pataki established the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to oversee
the rebuilding process. As those early discussions for rebuilding
got underway, recovery and clearance teams continued to work 24 hours a day to carefully
unpick and remove debris from the ground zero site, completing their work in May 2002. For
obvious reasons, this is a phase of the site’s history that we won’t be examining in detail. The site under discussion for development
encompassed the original footprint of the World Trade Centre complex with a desire to
reopen access through Greenwich Street which had been blocked by the original World Trade
Centre development when it was built in the 1970s. At this point, with masterplan proposals for
the site being developed by Daniel Libeskind, the project entered several years of disagreement,
debate and controversy. Arguments wore on about who owned the land and what would now
be constructed there. Many people wanted the Twin Towers to be rebuilt
in a stronger and taller form. Others didn’t want anything built there at all and felt
that ground zero should become a memorial. During this period, the new 7 World Trade
Center, designed by David Childs of Skidmore Owings and Merrell, was constructed on the
site of its original structure. It sits adjacent to, but separate from the main World Trade
Center complex, meaning that it only needed approval from New York’s Port Authority.
This enabled works to progress without delay and the building completed in 2006 – the
first new structure at Ground Zero. Eventually, an agreement was reached on the
main complex. Rights were granted to create a memorial on the footprints of the original
Twin Towers in exchange for surrounding that memorial with several new skyscrapers. This
deal between the major parties became known as “The Swap” and is now recognised as
the most complex real estate transaction in human history. With differences for the most part resolved,
work began on the various aspects of the new World Trade Center complex. The most recognisable new structure is the
vast One World Trade Center, a 104-storey tower that rises to a symbolic height of 1776
feet; the year of American Independence. The building was again designed by David Childs
of Skidmore Owings and Merrell. Creating the tallest building in the United
States, and the Western Hemisphere for that matter, posed significant engineering challenges. Construction began in 2006, with digging down
to New York’s bedrock and the use of explosives to clear some of this material away. From
there, concrete foundations were constructed and the first column, was lifted into place. With foundations constructed, the building’s
central concrete core was formed using a climbing rig that climbed the core as it hardened.
The steel frame structure followed, with the glazing coming up after that. As the building rose, working at height became
a significant challenge. The developing levels were cocooned in a mesh frame to prevent tools
or debris falling. This moved with the building as it grew, until the glazing was installed.
Workers slept in temporary accommodation on the tower’s levels to save the time spent
travelling back down to ground level each day. The weather also caused problems. Steelwork
and major building elements could not be lifted up the building in extreme wind speeds or
on days with poor visibility. The tower was completed in 2014 with the installation
of its antenna. Across the complex, 4 World Trade Centre was
completed in 2013. Rising to a height of 72 storeys, this impressive structure provides
modern office space with incredible views across Manhattan and the greater New York City area. As it stands, further developments are planned
for 2, 3 and 5 World Trade Centre subject to tenancy agreements, funding and approvals.
The grandest of these structures is likely to be 2 World Trade Center, the second tallest
building on the site. Closer to ground, the new World Trade Center
Transportation Hub opened in 2016. Sitting within the uniquely formed Oculus structure
designed by Santiago Calatrava to resemble a bird, the hub is a major piece of transportation
infrastructure for the city and has made an impressive architectural contribution to Manhattan. Rightly at the very core of the re-development
sits the National September 11 Memorial, consisting of two monuments positioned on the footprints
of the original Twin Tower buildings. The design is entitled “Reflecting Absence”
and is formed by waterfalls running into two pools that symbolise the loss of life and
the physical void left by the attacks. The sound of falling water mutes the noise of
the surrounding city to create a calm space for reflection. The memorial is supported by a museum that
documents the 9/11 attacks featuring artefacts, images and oral tributes from those who lost loved ones. In the years since 9/11 as ground zero has
developed into the new World Trade Center complex, it has continuously been a focal
point for tributes and memorials. Anniversaries of the attacks have been marked here and crowds
gathered when news broke of Osama Bin Laden’s death in 2011. What happened on this site will never be forgotten
and will shape our lives for decades to come. But its rebuilding has successfully balanced
the need to bounce back and move forward, with powerfully marking one of the most horrific
moments in history. It is perhaps best to finish with the words
that Barack Obama wrote across a steel beam installed at One World Trade Center: “We
Remember, We Rebuild, We Come Back Stronger”. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
watch more like this, subscribe to The B1M.

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