Foster Returns to 2WTC

John Hill
17. January 2020
Image: BIG, via Silverstein Properties

The New York Post is reporting that Silverstein Properties is shelving the 2015 design by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group for 2 World Trade Center in favor of a "modified" design of Foster + Partners' scheme from 2006.

The news comes exactly four years after BIG's scheme — unveiled in June 2015 — was stalled; in January 2016 anchor tenants 21st Century Fox and News Corp pulled out of the move to BIG's 2WTC. Since then the future of 2WTC has been a question mark — and the tower's eventual location, between SOM's One World Trade Center and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' 3 World Trade Center, has been a void on the Lower Manhattan skyline.

Foster + Partners was selected to design 2WTC and unveiled a design for the 78-story skyscraper the following year. Unlike the SOM and Rogers' designs, and Fumihiko Maki's design for 4WTC, Foster's design actually relates to the WTC Memorial, as defined by Daniel Libeskind's masterplan; its roof slopes down toward the memorial and suitably "turns the corner" between 3WTC and 1WTC. BIG's design eliminated those relationships in favor of stacked boxes rising to a flat roof.

The Post's January 15th article is based on a conversation with developer Larry Silverstein. He told the newspaper that Foster's 14-year-old design is being "significantly modified to be more reflective of contemporary needs and taste." Since the redesign is a work in progress, Silverstein Properties' web page on 2WTC still displays renderings of BIG's design. Silverstein is focused on fully leasing the office space in 3WTC, so it might be a while before we hear more news or see new images of a redesigned Foster 2WTC.

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