The View From Brooklyn: 2 World Trade and the Future of New York Architecture


    When completed — supposedly in 2020 — 2 World Trade Center will be among the most interesting-looking additions to the Manhattan skyline that we’ve seen in years. It isn’t another of the pin-straight pillars currently in vogue.

    From the virtual vantage of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the stair-stepping wedge-shaped building nearly entirely obscures its fraternal twin tower, 1 World Trade, and its stacked rectangular forms appear to flirt with the idea of toppling.

    Interestingly, this precarious perspective will be the regular view of the building’s architect, Bjarke Ingels. The Danish designer purchased the $4,000,000 penthouse at Toll Brothers’ 205 Water Street in Dumbo last month.

    Last night, Ingels and Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman unveiled a swooping, Times-made visualization of the building at the Cities For Tomorrow conference, an event continuing today.



    New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman and architect Bjarke Ingels

    The Times‘ visualization zooms around the odd-looking tower, showing it from various vantage points in each of the five boroughs.


    Times Senior Designer Graham Roberts shows off his “Five Views of 2 WTC”

    Graham Roberts, Senior Graphic Designer at the New York Times, told Brownstoner he wanted the visualization to give a sense of the unique form of Ingles’ unconventional design.

    “What is interesting to show is the shifting shape of the building,” Roberts told us after his motion-graphic was officially launched onstage. The Williamsburg resident said it was all about taking a different perspective.

    Rendering of 2 World Trade by Bjarke Ingels Group

    2 World Trade is the fourth and final office structure to be built at the World Trade Center site. The future headquarters of 21st Century Fox and News Corp, the building will have a screening room on the top floor with an enormous picture window looking out over the city. The developer, Silverstein Properties, is leasing out the floors not occupied by Fox.

    Ingels and his firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), are known for playful, mountain-like structures — not unlike the slanted platform they designed for Pier 6, only bigger. Much bigger. In addition to designing several more buildings in the city, Ingels is also creating Google’s new campus in Mountain View, a project he said was similar in scale to 2 World Trade, but flatter.

    2 World Trade is uniquely formed, and so, uniquely suited to the Times‘ 360-degree visualization. If the rendering holds true, the tower will offer a new sight of interest for those of us looking from Brooklyn.

    More reading:

    Five Views of 2 WTC [NYT]
    Cities For Tomorrow Conference [NYT]
    Revealed: The Inside Story of the Last WTC Tower’s Design [Wired]

    DBOX for BIG - WTC2 - Tribeca Morning

    Rendering of 2 World Trade by DBOX for Bjarke Ingels Group


    Ingels’ new pad at 205 Water Street. Photo by Sotheby’s

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