Alternative Ground Zero: What Lower Manhattan Could Have Looked Like
September 8, 2011
The week after the publishing of the Times’ article, New York magazine released the result of its own sponsored study, which prompted seven architects to “prescribe [Ground Zero with] curative doses of the beautiful, the poetic, the sublime.” The schemes lay out new urban configurations of building and landscapes which extend the limits of Ground Zero out into Lower Manhattan. Both the plans submitted by Morphosis and William Pederson articulate amphibious megastructural assemblages rising from the water and tunneling through Lower Manhattan until ascending at Ground Zero. Eisenman’s somewhat tasteless design immortalizes the point of the collapse of the Twin Towers, with a trio of blank Modernist towers whose contents flows outward at their base to form public and commercial zones. Zaha Hadid’s sinuous towers are a reinterpretation of the originals, made thinner and animate; the towers touch at various point, creating new urban spaces in the air. Yet none of these possess the energy pulsing through Lebbeus Wood’s conceptual Babel, which will ascends higher and higher above the site of tragedy, under perpetual construction.
William Pederson of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au
Michael Meredith of MOS, submitted under the pseudonym “Meredith Michaels”