TWIN TOWERS REDUX: A sinuous pair of
double towers forms the centerpiece of Hadid's design -- the
thinner for residential apartments, the wider for offices.
Showing a defiant confidence in Manhattan and in the very
tall building, Zaha Hadid proposes a skyscraper that is higher,
bigger, and more complex than the original World Trade Center
towers. The London architect, noted for inventing forms that
encourage social interaction in and around a building, evokes
the original towers with a double set of sinuous twins, the
thinner pair for residential use and the thicker for offices.
But the new buildings are no longer extruded from square footprints
like tubes. The four towers bend and merge at various points,
the floor levels swelling and receding along the vertical
axis to accommodate different uses. Hadid and her associate,
Patrick Schumacher, reinvent the skyscraper as a building
type, operating on the principle of connecting rather than
isolating floors and people, and varying spaces rather than
repeating them identically. They create a mille-feuille landscape
whose folded and layered topography, comprising spaces dedicated
to shopping, transport, and culture, are interwoven with passages
linking the development, as in a complex root system. In tribute
both to the dead and to the World Trade Center, the architects
cut deeply into the towers' footprints, creating hollow tubes
that become haunting voids.
What do you think of this design?