Norman Foster may lose out on yet another major project in Manhattan. The Journal writes that if News Corporation and 21st Century Fox decide to move into 2 World Trade Center, as previously reported, developer Larry Silverstein may drop Foster’s design in favor of a new one by none other than starchitect of the moment, Bjarke Ingels of BIG.
Fox and News Corp. have been mulling over a move from its Midtown headquarters for a downtown locale as it comes up for a lease renewal in 2020. Word broke just two weeks ago that the media conglomerate was seriously considering the new tower as its new headquarters, but that if they were to take up residence, the base of the skyscraper would need to be revamped considerably to accommodate television studios. “The existing design was deemed problematic because it wasn’t considered ideal for studio space at the base—it was designed with bank-trading floors in mind—and because of the amount of infrastructure on the ground-level related to the PATH train station at the site,” the Journal writes.
Foster designed 2 WTC a decade ago and it is the final tower left to be developed at the site. Although ground was broken on the project in 2008, and slated for completion in 2016, in 2013 the Port Authority put a hold on construction until tenants could be found for occupancy.
While a new design from BIG would most certainly alter Foster’s tower, the Journal reports that the height and floor area would remain the same at about 1,270 feet tall with three million square feet. The paper also alludes to the audacious piece of architecture that could come of pinning Ingels as the new design lead, referencing his “Jetsons-style” design for Google, and quoting the architect’s speech at a conference last year, “Architecture at its best is really the power to make the world a little more like our dreams. You take something that is a wild idea, like pure fiction, and you suddenly change it into hard fact.”
Silverstein is said to be in talks with Mr. Ingels, although no deal has been finalized. All the companies are expected to make a decision in the coming months.
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