INGELS SEES GREEN SHOOTS: Bjarke Ingels, architect of 2 World Trade Center, is literally thinking on many levels for 21st Century Fox, News Corp. and other tenants who plan to move to 200 Greenwich Street. Having inked nonbinding deals with Silverstein Partners to relocate their respective headquarters to the modernist skyscraper, both media giants will occupy the lower half of the tower, and the tower’s upper-half will be leased to other commercial tenants. Ingels has seven separate building volumes, each tailored for specific activities. Varied in sizes and depths, each of the volumes will be stacked on top of one another, with the largest at the base of the structure and the smallest toward the top. The stacking will create 38,000 square feet of outdoor terraces, which will be “full of lush greenery,” according to Ingels’ firm BIG. Beyond the views of Battery Park and beyond, the architect’s aim is to get staffers brainstorming and socializing outdoors.
Ingels’ partner at BIG, Thomas Christoffersen, noted how the financial district’s transformation into a vibrant neighborhood for creative companies in media, technology and design calls for 2 World Trade Center to meet the demands for flexible work spaces. He also said, “Floor plates of varying proportions host a multitude of uses and amenities creating different identities stacked in the sky, each with its own park. As the parks step back, the building steps out to transform the flexible work spaces below to typical office spaces above, creating a silhouette toward the 9/11 Memorial Park that matches the reclining lines of 1 World Trade Center.”
The base of the building will house TV studios and 100,000 square feet of retail space over multiple levels. The 38,000-square-foot lobby is connected to the WTC transit hub, with direct access to 11 subway lines and PATH trains. There will also be a public plaza at the foot of the building, a short walk to the 350,000 square feet of stores and restaurants in the adjacent transportation hub and concourses.
Much of 2 World Trade Center’s design will be geared for idea sharing and collaborating through such features as open workplaces and informal meeting spaces. Large stairwells will be built “to form cascading double-height communal spaces throughout the headquarters,” according to BIG. “These continuous spaces enhance connectivity between different departments and amenity floors, which [may feature] basketball courts, a running track, a cafeteria and screening rooms. The amenity floors will lead directly onto the rooftop parks.”
Ingels said, “More than any other city, New York is fueled by the energy and creativity that sparks from people of multiple cultures, religions, races, languages and professions living and working together. The sculptural form of 2 World Trade Center — composed of many individual buildings forming a single silhouette — appears like an architectural manifestation of the founding motto of this country: ‘E pluribus unum’ — ‘Out of many, one.'”
Based in New York and Copenhagan, BIG has 200 employees and a multitude of projects underway including Google North Bayshore, Oslo’s Governmental Quarter and “Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation.”