Developer scraps Bjarke Ingels-designed 2 WTC for revamped Norman Foster tower

Posted On Thu, January 16, 2020 By

Posted On Thu, January 16, 2020 By In Financial District, Major Developments, Starchitecture

Previous rendering of 2 World Center via DBOX, courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

It looks like Norman Foster’s design for 2 World Trade Center might rise after all. First unveiled in 2006, the original Foster + Partners proposal was scrapped in 2015 for Bjarke Ingels’ stacked tower, which was deemed more suitable to prospective media tenants. After leases with Fox and News Corp. fell through in 2016, the future of the tenant-less tower has remained uncertain. Absent any takers, developer Larry Silverstein is now pivoting back to the Foster vision, the New York Post reports. The old design is being “significantly modified to be more reflective of contemporary needs and taste,” Silverstein said.

Foster’s design—with its faceted form and diamond topper–was considered by many to be the most attractive of the four World Trade Center towers. The design was “problematic” more for its internal organization, as it was laid out for an investment bank with trading floors. As the Post notes, it was “made for a pre-crash world.”

Bjarke Ingels Group took over the design with a very different scheme consisting of stacked glass boxes with setbacks creating opportunities for terrace gardens. Ingels said the design was “like a vertical village of singular buildings . . . stacked on top of each other, forming parks and plazas in the sky.”

As 6sqft previously reported, Fox and News Corp. were set to take over one million square feet of the tower as the anchor tenant but ultimately decided to keep their headquarters in Midtown at 1211 and 1185 Sixth Avenue. At the time, they considered the move would be “a huge distraction for the companies’ global operations.” Their current lease is set to expire this year but they have the ability to extend through 2025. The design was going to be the most expensive office tower in the world at $4 billion, coming in just over its neighbor, One World Trade Center.

This latest development could be major for the future of 2 WTC, which is the final tower left to be developed at the site. But for now, Silverstein is still focused on leasing out 3 WTC (which is currently 75 percent spoken for) before he shifts focus. “With the level of lease-up activity at Tower Three, my hunch is it won’t be terribly long before an announcement comes up with respect to Tower Two,” he told the Post.

[Via New York Post]

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