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When did the Freedom Tower start to suck?

June 30, 2006

Apparently I missed the original announcement, but this week I saw the new design for the Freedom Tower in New York. Sigh. When did Libeskind\’s design get \”value engineered\” into banality? I wasn\’t a huge proponent of his scheme over the others from the design competition, but the first round of schemes was such utter crap – and it seems that\’s where we\’re headed again.

I suppose I shouldn\’t be surprised, on some level. The psychology of building a huge tower on that site demands that the design be responsive to security and safety issues – but I don\’t see how changing the form from Liebeskind\’s dynamic plan to the current staid layout makes a whit of difference. Combine that formal shift with the huge security-driven plinth that the whole thing sits on, and you take a huge step backwards, I think in terms of the humanity of the space around the tower.

I\’m not sure anything can be done at this point – but if anybody has any suggestions, I\’m all ears.

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