by James Carpenter
Seven World Trade Center was the third building to collapse on September 11, 2001, and it is the first to be rebuilt. Designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the new building is composed of 42 floors of office space set above eight floors of Con Edison transformers (located in large concrete vaults at street level).
James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA) was invited to join the design team in late 2002, after the building’s prismatic form — derived from significant site planning — was already established. We were asked to collaborate on the curtain wall, the base of the building containing the transformers, and the lobby.
The site’s new master plan radically altered the building’s context. Before its destruction, the original 7 World Trade Center was accessible only from the podium of the complex, four stories above street level, where the blank granite box was dominated by Con Edison’s industrial louvers. With the loss of the World Trade Center’s raised podium, by necessity, the new design had to still accommodate the transformers, and also respond to a new public and urban presence at street level.
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architects, architecture, buildings, construction, modern architecture, modern buildings, new buildings, skyscraper
Architecture Week, James Carpenter Design Associates, Seven World Trade Center, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, som
Unity Temple, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his own Unitarian congregation in Oak Park, Illinois, remains an icon of early modern architecture, with its geometric design, strong massing, characteristic detailing, and use of exposed concrete.
But despite ongoing maintenance of this National Historic Landmark, the 1909 building has suffered extensive damage from years of water infiltration. Its precarious state prompted the National Trust for Historic Preservation to name Unity Temple one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” for 2009.
The annual list highlights architectural, cultural, and natural heritage sites at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. This year’s sites range from a single school building in Georgia to an entire mountain in New Mexico, from a 19th-century factory complex to such modern landmarks as Minoru Yamasaki’s 1966 Century Plaza Hotel.
Neglect, lack of funding, insensitive public policy, and natural forces — often working in combination — have put many of these buildings in jeopardy. Several of the listed sites are threatened with demolition to enable redevelopment.
Wright’s Hometown Masterwork
Reflecting on Unity Temple near the end of his life, Wright said, “That was my first expression of this eternal idea which is at the center and core of all true modern architecture. A sense of space, a new sense of space.”
Full article via Architecture Week