Archive for 6/5/2003
Have you seen the design chosen to replace the twin towers? It’s an atrocity: a bare skeleton where the building stood and a big hole in the ground where it fell. Apparently Mr. Libeskind has chosen to erect a giant tombstone as his tribute to the “resurgence of life.” As a further insult, he has decided to place a garden atop the framework as “a constant affirmation of life.” It seems that a few weeds are a better affirmation of “life” than the work of 100 thousand individuals. There are a number of groups that share my indignation at the chosen design: one group is hoping to rebuild the twin towers, while another is suing the port authority. It seems that neither the old nor the new WTC are subject to the building code imposed on private enterprises because they were/will be maintained by the Port Authority, which is immune to prosecution. I’m not qualified to speculate whether this made any difference on 9/11, but I have much more confidence in private construction that does not follow a building code than a public one that does. Since it was found out that Mr. Libeskind will not actually construct the new WTC, as he has never build a skyscraper before, there have been a number of alternative designs proposed. Most of them are impossible designs made by amateurs, but here is one I actually like.
One a side note, the skyscraper in general may be becoming an outdated relic. The rise of the Internet and intranets has greatly diminished the need for large numbers of people to work in the same place, allowing large, sprawling corporate campuses to become the new standard. As much as I love skyscrapers, they may soon join the sailing ship and biplane in my list of great symbols of man’s mind surpassed by even greater inventions.