Star Architect Designs 2 World Trade CenterJun 09, 2015
Last summer, a delegation of executives from 21st Century Fox descended on the New York offices of avant-garde architect Bjarke Ingels to see if he was interested in designing a new headquarters.
The result was revealed Tuesday in renderings for an 80-story tower at 2 World Trade Center that is slated to be the home of 21st Century Fox and News Corp.
Appearing as a set of seven stacked boxes, the building would be 28 feet shy of One World Trade Center’s roof, and the final tower to be built at the World Trade Center site.
21st Century Fox and News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones, last week announced they signed a letter of intent to move to the tower, which is scheduled to be built by developer Larry Silverstein and open by 2020.
News Corp said in a memo to employees Tuesday that the building design “would meet our needs for a vibrant workplace that enables collaboration among colleagues and businesses.”
The tower still isn’t a certainty. The lease hasn’t been negotiated, and the companies have said they could still renew in their current location.
If it comes to pass, the new tower would further propel the ascent of Mr. Ingels, a 40-year-old Dane who has become a star in the architecture world.
In 2001, when the Twin Towers fell, Mr. Ingels had just opened his own practice with one partner and two interns. Five years ago, he remained unknown outside clubby architectural circles.
Today it is difficult to miss the Danish architect, with projects everywhere and an exhibit devoted to his work at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. His signatures—twisting buildings and an eye on sustainability—can be found everywhere from a giant pyramidlike tower on Manhattan’s West Side to a new power plant/ski slope in Denmark designed to emit giant puffy smoke rings out its chimney. On the West Coast, he is co-designer of Google Inc.’s new headquarters in Silicon Valley.
For the tower at 2 World Trade Center, Mr. Ingels said the design offers something different from each side. Looking from the Sept. 11 memorial, the boxes appear stacked together, an approach he said was “respectful” to the memorial and that has “a kinship to its neighbors,” the other towers. From the sides, the boxes are more apparent.
“It really expresses diversity and multiplicity,” he said.
The designs bring the first major change to the design of the World Trade Center since 2006, when construction work got under way throughout the site. While the other towers rose, 2 World Trade was capped at street level as Mr. Silverstein searched for a tenant.
“The mountain of towers that is the skyline of downtown Manhattan is one of the most epic man-made monuments or landscapes in the world,” said Mr. Ingels. “To be in a position where we can contribute to that skyline is any architect’s dream.”