WTC #1: Bundled Towers
Location: New York, USA
Client: Max Protech Gallery
Date: 2002 Competition
Total Area: 884,000m2
Budget: High-rise towers and Memorial for the World Trade Centre Ground Zero site
FOA Partner in charge: Alejandro Zaera-Polo
Project Architect: Daniel Lopez-Perez
Design Team: Kelvin Chu, Erhard An-He Kinzelbach
This was a conceptual proposal in response to an invitation from Max Protetch Gallery to address the reconstruction of Ground Zero. Our proposal was to use the scale of the construction to make the tallest high-rise in the world. The world’s tallest building requires a new high-rise typology.
If we look at the evolution of the skyscraper type, we see that the increase in height of the structure results in a tendency of the organisation to concentrate the structural section in the periphery of the plan, as the lateral forces become stronger than the gravitational ones. This process has evolved the post and beam typology, which distributes structure evenly across the plan into different types of tubular organisations, concentrating the structure in the periphery of the plan.
As the structure grows taller, the strength of the material is insufficient to provide stability to lateral forces so the only solution is to keep increasing the depth of the plan proportionally. This leads into building types which become extremely deep, and therefore heavily dependent on artificial light and mechanically controlled ventilation.
In order to generate an alternative type of high-rise, our proposal is to operate with the building mass rather than just the distribution of the structure. We aim to maintain the physical continuity of the whole mass and use it as a structural advantage, forming the complex as a bundle of interconnected towers which provide a flexible floor size and buttress each other structurally.
As our target was to reach approximately 500m in height, we needed 110 floors of a conventional floor to floor height of 4.5m. The total floor plate aimed to match the size of the Twin Towers in six bundled towers of approximately 1000m2 per floor, the average lease in Manhattan.