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2. Thom Mayne
Santa Monica, California
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REACHING OUT: An Eiffel-like tower is the focal point of Mayne's plan, a densely inhabited mix of commercial and recreational spaces forming a vibrant tribute to the dead.

The complex proposed by Thom Mayne constitutes a memorial to the victims of 9/11, but an inhabited memorial that commemorates the tragedy by treating the entire site as an affirmation of the living city -- from underground transportation systems to offices to residences. Mayne turns the skyscraper on its side, creating undulating, intersecting horizontal tubes that accommodate commercial office space. A skeletal, 1,300-foot-tall communications tower wrapped in metal scrim sets the site in the skyline. An extension of the tower descends below grade, folding back and forth like a Jacob's ladder, facing an urban canyon that opens the site and exposes its underground life, with layered subway and rail systems and shopping concourses. The complex, with a spur that reaches out to the Hudson, forms a collar around the World Trade Center perimeter, defining a park or outdoor room that encircles the footprints of the original towers. The park rises to the south, above underground commercial and recreational spaces. One of the footprints is designed as a plaza isolated in its own tranquillity, a pocket of reflection. An opening above the second footprint serves as an oculus leading to an underground memorial space honoring the dead.

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