Ground Zero: Libeskind is the favourite

The governor and the mayor of New York – George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg – have expressed their preference for Daniel Libeskind’s Ground Zero project. Both would choose his design rather than that of the other finalist, Think Design, led by Rafael Viñoly. Their ‘suggestion’ is bound to influence the final decision, due to be announced by the end of the month. Also because the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (controlled by Pataki) will be making the decision jointly with the governor of New Jersey.

The news, reported in the New York Times, also stresses that some of the key figures in the Port Authority and in the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) favour Libeskind’s design.

Meanwhile the two architectural firms are working on the requested alterations to their projects. Libeskind should raise the level of the underground memorial crypt from 21 to 6 metres below ground level, so that a bus terminal can be built under it. Among the problems to be dealt with by Think Design are the layout of the base of the towers, whose foundations would conflict with the subway station; and the re-location of the cultural centre to a lower floor than the proposed 85th.

Another crucial factor that could of course tip the scales is the big difference between the two budgets: 800 million dollars for Think Design’s project, against a mere 330 million for Libeskind’s.

Related contents:
Seven propositions for New York (from Domus 856 February 2003)
Facing up to Ground Zero. Deyan Sudjic on an architectural debate being played out on CNN (from Domus 856 February 2003)
The project by Think Design
The project by Think Design

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