World Trade Center (WTC) Tower 1, known as the “Freedom Tower,” will rise to 1,362 feet -- the exact height of the original WTC South Tower. Designed by architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the future landmark is planned to open by late 2013.
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Under development by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since spring 2006, the $3.1 billion Freedom Tower is being built to some of the world’s most rigorous construction standards in terms of both safety and “green” features. Its design directly addresses New York Police Department security standards, including a 200-foot-square base (the same size as the original twin towers’ footprints) that creates a larger public plaza along its perimeter and more room for at-grade security.
The skyscraper will rise from a cubic base that, from a bird’s-eye perspective, appears to torque 45 degrees -- an effect of the chamfered edges that transform its sides into eight isosceles triangles. Its lower 200 feet will house mechanics, and its solid, windowless façade will be clad in high-strength concrete covered with glass prisms that shimmer and reflect light.
Entrances on each of the building’s four sides will separately serve restaurant guests, observation-deck visitors, and tenants -- each of whom will enter through a grand, 50-foot-high lobby.
At its summit, the Freedom Tower will be home to a restaurant and observation deck at the same elevation as the original North Tower. Its roof will feature a “beacon of light,” essentially an illuminated, woven metal sculpture that will serve as the Metropolitan Television Alliance’s broadcasting antenna. Sculptor Kenneth Snelson is collaborating on the design of the antenna, which will rise from the center of the building to the symbolic height of 1,776 feet.
The tower is planned to far surpass environmental codes, with maximum utilization of recycled-content building materials, cogeneration and other renewable energy sources, water conservation and rainwater reuse, outside-air ventilation, and ultra-clear glass for better interior “day lighting.”
The building will also be among the country’s safest, incorporating redundant measures like a steel-frame vertical core enveloped by two feet of solid concrete. That core will encase the elevators, stairwells, utilities, communication systems, and even an emergency “fireman’s lift.” Emergency systems also will reside in the core, such as generators, a pressurized ventilation system, and a high-capacity water-storage system for building sprinklers.
Other Freedom Tower components include tenant amenity spaces; world-class restaurants; and access to the PATH, subway, World Financial Center, and the retail concourse that will connect all of the new WTC towers below grade.
View animations of the Freedom Tower:
East River Flyby
Click here to see the latest information on the construction of the Freedom Tower..