07 September 2006

ground zero update: fosters, rogers, maki join the mix

This morning, Silverstein released images of Towers 2, 3, and 4 at the Trade Center site... at first glance, I must confess a hesitant fondness for the slight dissonance of the three towers, as they relate to each other and to the massive Freedom Tower. Although I still question the rationale of providing (in addition to the Freedom Tower) three additional office buildings that each approach (or reach, in Foster's case) the size of the Empire State Building, I do appreciate the heterogenuous quality of these latest images. The real problem for me, however, goes beyond form and has everything to do with program. The bottom line is that Lower Manhattan really doesn't need such a smorgasboard of new office space. Ask any New Yorker and they'll concur: the city needs housing. Until issues of affordable housing are put on the table, and until the city and state manage to pressure Silverstein & Co. to address some sort of social agenda (beyond the trite reliance on jingoistic iconography), no superstar architect, however skillful or progressive, will be able to make a positive impact.

link: "Designs Unveiled for Freedom Tower's Neighbors" by David Dunlap, in the Times

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