Join 3,416 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


June 24, 2002
6:27 AM   Subscribe

Now that's more like it. Finally a design for rebuilding the WTC that captures the appropriate spirit. Far better than the other designs I've seen. No doubt some will think it too much, though. What's your opinion?
posted by rushmc (84 comments total)

 
Not that there's a chance in hell it would ever get built, mind you.
posted by rushmc at 6:28 AM on June 24, 2002


Four AA batteries and a lampshade. Thumbs up!
posted by adampsyche at 6:42 AM on June 24, 2002


Ummmm....Under "Safety":
Our Cyber City will have a State of the Art External Security System which at this stage evolves [sic] around "Sound Waves" which has [sic] the capacity at a specific frequency to repel flying objects up to a five mile circumference.

Say what?
posted by ColdChef at 6:42 AM on June 24, 2002


I also like how they've already decided what type of food will be served in the hypothetical restaurants.
posted by ColdChef at 6:44 AM on June 24, 2002


I would only support a venture like this if they put a gi-nourmous American Flag on the top of it...hey! Whadda ya know?
posted by ColdChef at 6:48 AM on June 24, 2002


Is that 111 floors/4 towers or 111 floors in each? If it's the latter, I could support it (rebuilding higher than the WTC's 107 floors would send a great message), but otherwise...

Of course the property owners should decide for themselves, though.
posted by dagny at 6:51 AM on June 24, 2002


Ugly
posted by jeff-o-matic at 6:55 AM on June 24, 2002


"Our New Cyber City Design Concept for The New World Trade Center 2002 will be impervious to attack"

Umm, okay. *cough*Titanic*cough*
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:59 AM on June 24, 2002


If you've ever worked in the World Trade Center, you would know that its giganticism made it an alienating, inhuman, oppressive place to come every morning. It's hugeness could put one in mind of mass death well before the age of terrorism. It was a wretched warehouse of lives, and its well that the buildings themselves are now gone (obviously, an end not to have been desired as it happened). No one should be permitted to build on that scale again.
posted by Faze at 7:00 AM on June 24, 2002


sturdy, looks like something outta robocop - but yeah i doubt it'll ever get built
posted by monkeyJuice at 7:01 AM on June 24, 2002


Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Worse yet, it's going to look very dated by, say, this afternoon.

I haven't been able to decide whether rebuilding on that scale is a good idea, but whatever is eventually built there shouldn't be an offense to the eye.
posted by maudlin at 7:03 AM on June 24, 2002


I'm leery of anything being sold with that much flash.

Also reminds me of the Renaissance Center in Detroit.
posted by TuffAustin at 7:11 AM on June 24, 2002


Not nearly pretty enough. It reminds me of the SimCity arcologies.
posted by meep at 7:17 AM on June 24, 2002


Very bad. Why such overdone grandiosity. This looks like reject scenery from Star Wars.

How about a nice park with an understated memorial?
posted by plaino at 7:17 AM on June 24, 2002


You are now looking at the original sketch by Mr Derek G. Turner, penned at 4:20 am....

That's code, you know, for "we were stoned when we came up with this idea."

I think this is insanely ugly---and I know that a lot of people felt that the huge height of the original towers made them soulless, and made the rest of the NYC skyline look puny in comparison (which is saying some). Still, there's a part of me that would just love to see something taller than the original back in that space. No doubt, the same part of me that likes this reconstruction proposal best.
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:19 AM on June 24, 2002


Looks like four sticks of dynamite strapped together, a la Wile E. Coyote. Very inappropriate.

Oh, and Flash + Lasso = design vomitorium.
posted by gimonca at 7:24 AM on June 24, 2002


I agree with Faze, I mean, unless some intelligent escape mechanisms can be put in place, the idea of building important structures that hold key functions is the equivalent of putting all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak.
posted by banished at 7:25 AM on June 24, 2002


What plaino said ("How about a nice park with an understated memorial?"). I always thought the Towers site should become a green and level space.

[grumble]I hate Flash[/grumble]
posted by StOne at 7:34 AM on June 24, 2002


Wow, that certainly is ugly. The big questions is, can it shoot out planet destroying lasers like the city has requested?

It's defenses are designed around a direct large-scale assault, such as a 767. A small one-man fighter should be able to penetrate the outer defense. Now, you may be thinking, what would a snub fighter be able to do against this WTC building.

Well, the city doesn't consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense. An analysis of the plans provided by the web site has demonstrated a weakness in the new building.

The approach will not be easy. The plane would be required to maneuver straight down Rector Street and skim the surface. The target area is only two meters wide, located above the helicopter pads (12) on the 77th level. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main helicopter pad. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the building.
posted by DragonBoy at 7:34 AM on June 24, 2002


"You are now looking at the original sketch by Mr Derek G. Turner, penned at 4:20 am on 17th February 2002, whilst in Manhattan. The sketch depicts a visionary concept for the resurrection and replacement of the World Trade Center Complex in New York City, which was tragically destroyed on 11th September, 2001."

4:20 huh? that would explain why he thought it was a good design...
posted by jcterminal at 7:36 AM on June 24, 2002


Gaak! That's hideous. The WTC towers were widely decried for hulking over lower Manhattan, and somebody think's this beast is a better idea?

And they quote Daniel Burnham to support it? Burnham would have fought tooth and nail against such a beast dominating the skyline.

Yes, build something, but not this. Fer Ghugle's sake, even The Donald has better buildings than this.
posted by eriko at 7:36 AM on June 24, 2002


"Stay on target..."
posted by ColdChef at 7:38 AM on June 24, 2002


Are people supposed to work in those silos, or is grain going to be stored there?

Oh, and I suspect that poll data is rigged. Supposedly 48,676 (82%) people have voted that they like the design.
posted by jennak at 7:45 AM on June 24, 2002


Oooh, I got suckered by the bad interface when trying to express my voice about whether I liked the design or not.

They present a little voting thing to let you choose yes, you like it, OR no, you don't. Trouble is, there's already a check mark in the yes box and an 'x' in the no box. I thought they were both already selected so I clicked on the yes box to deselect it. D'oh! It registered as a vote. I wonder how many of the 83% of the votes in favor of the design were a result of the same mistake.
posted by warhol at 7:45 AM on June 24, 2002


It's a Transformer.

If a plane approaches it, the pyramid becomes a head, the four towers become limbs off the fifth tower, and rockets speed the building and its inhabitants to safety.

Oh yeah, and it fires laser beams out of its eyes.
posted by ebarker at 7:49 AM on June 24, 2002


I wish the city would use this chance to let some air into Manhattan and reduce daily traffic going downtown. Let it grow wild. No office buildings. No rows of grim stones. No overtrimmed frisbee park. Wall it in and make it a nature preserve, which would be as good a monument as any to life.
posted by pracowity at 7:50 AM on June 24, 2002


The helicopter pads on the 45th nd the 75th floors are a great idea. Some of the safety features are great ideas. The building is damn ugly, though - it reminds me of an arsenal of nuclear bombs all bundled together to save space.
posted by iconomy at 7:50 AM on June 24, 2002


"Good shot, Skywalker!" "Just like shooting Wamp rats in Beggars Canyon back home."

Oh wait - there's going to be a five-mile no-fly zone around Manhattan. Okay, then.
posted by yhbc at 7:54 AM on June 24, 2002


Wow - that's particularly heinous!

Cracks me up that the first sentence announces he scribbled this design at 4am... sort of a disclaimer right off the bat. Also, he bends over backwards to protect his copyright, but seems to think nothing of stealing a little Julee Cruise music for his sound track and leaving it uncredited. Sheesh. Some people just have WAY too much time on their hands.
posted by spilon at 7:56 AM on June 24, 2002


Are people supposed to work in those silos, or is grain going to be stored there?>

That a great idea! Whats more American than mid-west grain silos! We could use them to secretly store grain. When terrorists would fly into them the joke would be on them - "would you like some oats Osama?"
posted by tomplus2 at 8:03 AM on June 24, 2002


Too floofy.

I got three words for the architects: Giant. Black. Pyramid.
posted by UncleFes at 8:11 AM on June 24, 2002


How about giving the site over to green space and having everybody telecommute from their couch or home office instead?
posted by alumshubby at 8:17 AM on June 24, 2002


I didn't think it was phallic enough.
posted by password at 8:33 AM on June 24, 2002


And WHO in their right mind would work on the top floors of that building? No way, Jose.

Hideous. Pass the bong back to Mr. Derek G. Turner, please.
posted by aacheson at 8:33 AM on June 24, 2002


No corner offices. Productivity might actually occur without the corner office caste system. Can't have that.
posted by machaus at 8:38 AM on June 24, 2002


I emailed them a question about their safety concept. I'm dying to hear more about their miraculous force field using "Sound Waves" which has the capacity at a specific frequency to repel flying objects. They should call the Pentagon about that.

This ugly thing is a joke, right? A Google for "Turning House Enterprises" turns up zero.
posted by MJoachim at 8:44 AM on June 24, 2002


Wall it in and make it a nature preserve, which would be as good a monument as any to life.

And employ people who would work there as zookeepers!
posted by adampsyche at 8:44 AM on June 24, 2002


Looks like it's ready for liftoff.
posted by mikhail at 8:48 AM on June 24, 2002


I think this has to be a joke:

"1: Our Cyber City will have a State of the Art External Security System which at this stage evolves around "Sound Waves" which has the capacity at a specific frequency to repel flying objects up to a five mile circumference."
posted by bclark at 8:50 AM on June 24, 2002


minus the pyramid at the top, it might be tolerable. what they need are escape pod things on every floor that shoot out and gently fall into the streets of manhattan.
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 8:56 AM on June 24, 2002


spilon, the music is credited on the site. Click where it says Credits and Copyright Information.

MJoachim, I'm sorry to say Google doesn't always turn up results. Sometimes other search engines do where Google doesn't. There's more in the BahamianOnline news.

The only website I can find for Turning House is that WTC site. Perhaps it's still too new a company, and this is their way of advertising.
posted by mikhail at 9:10 AM on June 24, 2002


When discussing the sonic weapon you gotta love this:

"All Turner would need is for the government to declare a no-fly zone within striking distance of his building, since the weapon would fire automatically. Luckily, he said, Manhattan is an island, limiting deaths on the ground."

Limiting. not to say it wouldn't happen, it would just be limited.
posted by mikhail at 9:14 AM on June 24, 2002


1. I like it.

2. It will be interesting to see if aacheson's point of view becomes a dominant one in Manhattan.

If it does, I guess we can expect that the age of skyscrapers is over? I am certainly not the first person to come up with this idea, but the evolution of the island will be interesting to watch. Will it continue to grow (sideways? down?) and be a cosmopolitan center of money, culture and excess? Or will it begin a long spiral of decline?
posted by Irontom at 9:14 AM on June 24, 2002


A clarification - I like the building as pictured. All the other tin-hat nonsense is just retarded.
posted by Irontom at 9:16 AM on June 24, 2002


I dunno, maybe you have to be a Monty Python fan...but it reminded me of this. :)
posted by dejah420 at 9:23 AM on June 24, 2002


I wouldn't want anything to do with something referred to as a cybercity, anyway. If it's going to be a cybercity, then you don't need a tower this size, you need a 2-3 story (max) colo hotel.

I think it's ugly. Has anyone asked the original architect (whose name escapes me at the moment) what he would like to see there?
posted by verso at 9:26 AM on June 24, 2002


I believe he's dead.
posted by rushmc at 9:44 AM on June 24, 2002


Louis Sullivan on skyscrapers:

"It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exaltation that from bottom to top it is unit without a single dissenting line."

This design definitely fails that test.

Also, I have to chime in that I don't believe the age of skyscrapers is over. There are still millions of us that would rather live and work in them rather than in squat suburban housing tracts and office parks.
posted by mrbula at 9:45 AM on June 24, 2002


How much do you have to love that they use the theme from Twin Peaks as background music?

Thank God this hideous monstrosity will never be built.

I like the idea of the sonic destructor ray, though. Wait till we have hijacked BUILDINGS zapping their surroundings...
posted by anser at 10:11 AM on June 24, 2002


Hideous.

I propose turning the center of the 16 acres into a park and building four-story mixed-use (residential/commercial) buildings around the perimeter, with big open arches every four buildings which lead into the park space and make it visible from the street. (I don't think it would work, though; I imagine the rent would be astronomical. Still...)
posted by swerve at 10:13 AM on June 24, 2002


So they want a no-fly zone around Manhattan, as well as helicopter pads? Pick one, dammit!

Personally I think they should make it the site of the new space elevator. If you thought the twin towers were high....
posted by Poagao at 10:21 AM on June 24, 2002


The Bahamas link reveals more about the "sonic ray gun." The line that kills me is "Turner has dubbed it the world's first contained 'Cyber City,' since there would be no reason to leave." Yeah, that's what I look for in a building located in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
posted by MJoachim at 10:34 AM on June 24, 2002


"It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exaltation that from bottom to top it is unit without a single dissenting line."

What piffle.
posted by rushmc at 10:45 AM on June 24, 2002


re: "Julee Cruise" and "Theme from Twin Peaks"

...the vocal version of which is actually titled "Falling".

That doesn't really work.
posted by jmcmurry at 10:46 AM on June 24, 2002


I propose turning the center of the 16 acres into a park and building four-story mixed-use (residential/commercial) buildings around the perimeter, with big open arches every four buildings which lead into the park space and make it visible from the street.

Yawn...

I know, how bout some nice subsidized low income housing?

Perhaps a nice laundromat?
posted by rushmc at 10:47 AM on June 24, 2002


I saw the proposed design last week and immediately said to myself, "Hey, that looks just like it could be one of the arcologies from SimCity 2000."

(In other words, pretty goofy if you transposed it into the real world.)
posted by Danelope at 10:48 AM on June 24, 2002


There are still millions of us that would rather live and work in them rather than in squat suburban housing tracts and office parks.

Hear, hear. More skyscrapers, please. It would make about as much sense to call for the elimination of the jumbo jet - after all, you can't knock down a skyscraper with a puddle-jumper.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:49 AM on June 24, 2002


This is real bullshit. I mean, this seems like the same subterfuge corporate express successfully delivers to the public mind all the time: if they do build this, they should in fact put a huge, garish American Flag on top, which really stands for totalitarian leadership and apathetic capitalism - United WE Stand. Forget it; keep the WTC down and all others for good measure.
posted by Kodel at 11:09 AM on June 24, 2002


It's a joke... (intentional or not is still a question, though).
posted by jpburns at 11:50 AM on June 24, 2002


I still think my wife's eight grade history student had the best idea.

"They should definitely rebuild. They should build three towers. One big one, and two littles ones."

He then, promptly, illustrated his point by giving her the finger.

How much more American can you get than the bird?
posted by rich at 11:54 AM on June 24, 2002


There will be a 5 mile no fly zone around the island of Manhattan.

LaGuardia airport is 3.8 miles from the East River. Those pesky details, Mr. Turner!
posted by tomorama at 12:17 PM on June 24, 2002


Why build, fill it in with water, and have a nice lake for 1. reflection and 2. a great place to take the kids.( and no you don't eat them, catch and release)
posted by thomcatspike at 12:20 PM on June 24, 2002


They can have Spinal Tap play at the opening of it. I definitely like the idea of locating the space elevator there, though.
posted by anildash at 12:33 PM on June 24, 2002


:: sings ::

When Luddites come marching home again, hurrah, hurrah!
When Luddites come marching home again, hurrah, hurrah!
We'll live in grass huts and meditate,
Free of technology--now ain't that great?
Yes, we'll all be fine when
The Luddites come marching home, the Luddites come marching home....

posted by rushmc at 12:54 PM on June 24, 2002


How much more American can you get than the bird?

Thanks, rich...I'll be depressed all week now.
posted by rushmc at 12:55 PM on June 24, 2002


For all those proclaiming the "death of the skyscraper"...apparantly no one has informed various Southeast Asian countries of this. A glance at the Skyscraper page's database diagrams shows several huge ones either recently built or currently under construction.
posted by dnash at 2:08 PM on June 24, 2002


In terms of the security features touted in the presentation, I think it all sounds a little too good to be true.
Oh, and I think it is the ugliest building I've ever seen.
posted by mattee at 2:47 PM on June 24, 2002


I'm so sorry, rushmc, my "hideous" comment must have really hurt your feelings, especially since almost everyone here seems to agree. Deep breaths.
posted by swerve at 2:52 PM on June 24, 2002


It wouldn't be so bad if they just inverted the design into the ground, keeping of course, the memorial gardens above.
posted by crasspastor at 3:17 PM on June 24, 2002


Ugh. Why rebuild something like the WTC in the first place? And to top it off, that American flag on top, meaning...what? Utter arrogance? "You can't bust us"? "Take this, bin Laden?" And besides, it is just flat-out ugly. Makes no sense at all. Do they feel they're gonna be ashamed if they just lift a memorial square in situ? I guess NYC would benefit far more of open spaces than yet more ugly behemoths in there.

I can't wait to see this one toppled down by a jetliner.
posted by betobeto at 3:45 PM on June 24, 2002


It's not pretty but practical when in time of emergency the whole thing sinks into an underground shaft leaving only the umbrella thingy above ground in case it rains.
posted by semmi at 4:14 PM on June 24, 2002


Build a tower, build two, build 'em big. Because of terrorists we're afraid to go more than 5 stories up anymore? And these "make it a big park" ideas are not practical for such a business space.
posted by owillis at 9:30 PM on June 24, 2002


anybody remember that james bond flick where the whole top of that damn volcano opened up and there was a totally badass secret bad guy's hideout under it and stuff? with rockets?

they should do that.

it couldn't cost more than building this monstrosity, and think: rockets! trick bridges! piranhas! bond girls!

i know i'd work there.
posted by fishfucker at 9:42 PM on June 24, 2002


this is disquieting.
posted by jcterminal at 9:49 PM on June 24, 2002


Well, first of all, this is hideously ugly. It's like some time warp back to the late 80s when postmodernism was the order of the day: this is a laudable example.

Second, like many proposals from the general public or even professionals, this is really just goofing off. The real decisions about the site are already starting to be made by the owners (Port Authorty), the lessee (Silverstein) and the other stakeholders (e.g. NYC Transit Authority). The subway is already being rebuilt -- not that it truly affects whatever else happens up above it that much. The 7 WTC site is under construction or soon will be, because Con Ed has to get those substations back online. It's likely that two streets will be opened up through the site -- Greenwich and Fulton -- which will leave the southwestern parallellogram block a suitable site for a memorial park, design TBD. This superblock is not as large as the entire site, but it encompasses the footprint of both Tower One and Tower Two, where almost all the deaths occurred, and probably all the unidentified ones. Some 60% of the site will be available for construction, and without a windy modernist plaza -- a relic mainly of obsolete ideas about livable cities as well as long-gone Manhattan zoning -- the buildings on it will not need to be 100+ skyscrapers in order to replace all of the destroyed commercial real estate square footage.

If someone really wants to influence what happens, they need to check out the Lower Manhattan Development Council site, and attend some of the meetings -- and that's a bare minimum. They've already put down much of their thinking.
posted by dhartung at 12:52 AM on June 25, 2002


How about a mosque?

That'd mess with their minds.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:23 AM on June 25, 2002


1) jcterminal: The Singer Tower was absolutely beautiful. Especially considering the monstrosity they replaced it with. The singer building was the tallest building ever taken down for peaceful purposes, btw.

2) The original architect for the WTC is dead, probably a good thing over all, it would probably suck to see your life's greatest work destroyed like that. I mean, if he considered it his greatest. He probably expected it to last for hundreds of years.

3) This proposed building is ugly as f--k.

4) Personally I hope they build something as tall as before, but better looking and more 'personable'. I think it could be possible. I doubt they will though, they'll probably make something average NYC height.
posted by delmoi at 3:42 AM on June 25, 2002


The fifth central tower accomodates 50 high speed elevators, each named after a State of The United States of America.

Hehe.
posted by delmoi at 3:46 AM on June 25, 2002


rushmc, where did you find this link? It's so obviously a joke, but a very well executed one.
posted by iconomy at 7:24 AM on June 25, 2002


Mr Turner wants his sun to rise on evil and build back that which was - even bigger and better than the venerable Twin Towers designed by Mr. Yamasaki, thus initiating the catalyst for the New Economy.

Good God, what an ego! Such grandiose prose! I'm just so moved by all this. Wait, I think I feel a tear...
posted by ratbastard at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2002


rushmc, where did you find this link? It's so obviously a joke, but a very well executed one.

On a gaming message board. No idea where they found it, though.
posted by rushmc at 12:26 PM on June 25, 2002


Well, if they build it, I know where the finale of Men In Black III or IV is going to be shot... That's who's behind this, you know.
posted by y2karl at 11:20 PM on June 25, 2002


i still say build the mile high. we have the whole rest of the country to put open space in, manhattan is for skyscrapers.
posted by hob at 9:49 PM on June 27, 2002


Lets have it designed by Paolo Soleri.
posted by {savg*pncl} at 9:56 PM on June 29, 2002


« Older Gigantic airships to fight forest fires...  |  Israeli backlash... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments