One World Trade Center architect Kenneth Lewis (R) will point on April 23, 2021 in New York at the “Freedom Tower” he helped design. It’s the skyscraper that replaced the Twin Towers in New York’s skyline. Inaugurated in 2014, One World Trade Center has become a symbol of resilience after the horrors of September 11th. Commonly referred to as the “Freedom Tower”, it is the tallest building in America at 541 meters.
Commonly referred to as the “Freedom Tower”, it is the tallest building in America at 541 meters and a landmark of the US economic capital
It is the skyscraper that replaced the Twin Towers in New York’s skyline. The One World Trade Center, inaugurated in 2014, has become a symbol of resilience after the horrors of September 11th.
Commonly referred to as the “Freedom Tower”, it is the tallest building in America at 541 meters and a landmark of the US economic capital .
From its conception on, the tower had to testify to the stability of New York – despite the tragedy looking to the future – according to one of its architects, Kenneth Lewis. September 2001, no one questioned replacing them with another skyscraper that is right next to “Ground Zero”.
For the architects at SOM, who build high-rise buildings around the world, it was a chance to realize concepts they have been thinking about for years.
“We thought it was the beginning of the millennium, we thought this had to be the next generation of buildings, both in terms of safety and environmental sustainability eit, “recalls Lewis.
One of the nightmarish images from September 11th was those of people jumping from the towers to their deaths to escape the fire.
The architects came up with ideas on how you can evacuate people other than using the stairs. The inventors came back with a giant slide and a zip line, with a parachutist demonstrating the latter, Lewis recalls.
“That was the worst,” he says. “We just couldn’t imagine someone who was a little overweight or a little scared jumping out the window.”
Ultimately, the only solution was to shield the heart of the building with reinforced concrete, “wide enough, that people can get out of there, “he explained.
These include wide staircases that allow rapid evacuation of the 104-story tower, signal lights to alert aircraft, fire-resistant cameras, and communications equipment on each floor to let rescuers get there Be able to monitor the situation constantly.
“Our goal was an evacuation time of one hour to evacuate the entire building,” said Lewis.
Firefighters were invited to planning meetings. They suggested a backup system that could compensate for the 9/11 emergency generator failure to provide power long enough to evacuate the building.
“They had been through such trauma, they had to be part of the solutions be that we found, “said Lewis.
Fire wasn’t the only concern: in the fall of 2001, several anonymous letters containing anthrax were sent to some media outlets and politicians, killing five people.
“Think of a worst-case scenario and what would that mean, and Then prepare for it, “he added, explaining their methodology.
Almost 20 years later, the pandemic left One WTC and most of Manhattan’s prestigious towers empty for months.
” People thought we were would come back a lot faster than we did, “admitted Lewis.
” We immediately looked at the types of filtration systems that are in place in these buildings, and most new buildings have highly efficient filters, particulate filters, that also deal with viruses. “
But if the office towers have not yet regained their occupancy rate before the pandemic, their dominance in the New York skyline cannot be questioned.
A tower is being built in Brooklynaround 600 apartments, which after its completion next year will be the first “super skyscraper” outside of Manhattan.
In addition to the environment, the mental health of the residents of these buildings is now a priority, said Lewis.
“We are in 2021 and we’re talking about wellbeing and integrating that into the spaces we do by creating outdoor spaces for people to work in, rooftop terraces that are really workspaces, meeting rooms.
In the meantime, One is WTC on the way to becoming as iconic as its predecessors.
While the 9/11 Memorial symbolizes “the emptiness” created by the attacks, the “Freedom Tower” represents “the positive,” said Lewis .
“A place of innovation and new thinking and modern ideas about safety and security,” he said.
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