Freedom Tower - One World Trade Center - New York
The Freedom Tower's program includes 2.6 million square feet (241,000 square meters) of office space, as well as an observation deck, world-class restaurants, parking, and broadcast and antennae facilities, all supported by both above and below-ground mechanical infrastructure for the building and its adjacent public spaces. Below-ground tenant parking and storage, shopping and access to the PATH and subway trains and the World Financial Center are also provided.
An 80-foot-high (24 m) public lobby topped by a series of mechanical floors form a 200-foot-high (61 m) building base. 69 tenant floors rise above the base to 1,120 feet (341 m) elevation. Mechanical floors, two floors to be occupied by the Metropolitan Television Alliance, restaurants and observation decks culminate in an observation deck and glass parapet that mark 1,362 feet (415 m) and 1,368 feet (417 m) respectively — the heights of the original Twin Towers. A shrouded antenna structure supported by cables, engineered by Schlaich Bergermann & Partner rises to a final height of 1,776 feet (541 m), which is symbolic to the year, that the Declaration of Independence was signed (July 4, 1776).
The tower rises from a cubic base whose square plan—200 feet by 200 feet—(61 m by 61 m) is almost as wide as the 208 foot (63 m) Twin Towers. The base is clad in more than 2,000 pieces of prismatic glass; each measures 4 feet by 13 feet 4 inches (1.21 m by 4.06 m) with varying depths. It has been designed to draw upon the themes of motion and light; a shimmering glass surface drapes the tower's base and imparts a dynamic fluidity of form whose appearance will reflect its surroundings. Just as the rest of the building, the base will serve as a glowing beacon. Cable-net facades on all four sides of the buildings, again designed by Schlaich Bergermann, measure 60 feet (18 m) high and range in width from 30 feet (9 m) on the east and west sides (for access to the restaurant and observation deck, respectively) to 50 feet (15 m) on the north side and 70 feet (21 m) on the south for primary tenant access, activate the building at street level.
As the tower itself rises from this cubic base, its square edges are chamfered back, transforming the square into eight tall isosceles triangles in elevation, or an elongated square antiprism. At its middle, the tower forms a perfect octagon in plan and then culminates in a glass parapet (elevation 1,362 feet (415 m) and 1,368 feet (417 m)) whose plan is a square, rotated 45 degrees from the base. A mast containing an antenna for television broadcasters—designed by a collaboration between SOM, artist Kenneth Snelson (who invented the tensegrity structure), lighting designers and engineers—and secured by a system of cables, rises from a circular support ring, similar to the Statue of Liberty's torch, to a height of 1,776 feet (541 m). The spire will be an intense beam of light that will be lit at night and will likely be visible over a thousand feet (305 m) into the air above the tower. New York City is a suitable place to set such a light pointing towards the sky without complaints of light pollution by astronomers, as the night sky in locations near New York City is already far too bright for serious astronomical observers.