With a powerful rendition of “God Bless America” delivered by gospel-music star BeBe Winans serving as an inspirational hymn, a final steel beam was put in place this week atop 4 World Trade Center—the first new skyscraper that will open next year on the site of the twin towers tragedy of 9/11.
Photos by Joe Woolhead, courtesy of Silverstein Properties
|Construction workers, government officials and business leaders gathered for the “topping out” ceremony at 4 World Trade Center, and are pictured here with the final steel beam for the structure.|
Construction workers, government officials and civic and business leaders gathered for a “topping out” ceremony marking the completion of steel erection for 4 World Trade Center.
The final steel beam, which weighed eight tons and was adorned with an American flag, was signed by Silverstein Properties President and CEO Larry A. Silverstein and other dignitaries. It was then raised 977 feet in the air and placed at the top the 72-story tower.
Silverstein Properties is the developer of the commercial buildings on the 16-acre World Trade Center site.
“The World Trade Center site is at the heart of Lower Manhattan's rebirth,” said New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “As 4 World Trade Center takes its place in the New York City skyline, we’re creating a neighborhood that is stronger than ever. Congratulations to all who have taken on the challenge of rebuilding and worked so hard on this important project.”
Conveying an ‘Ephemeral’ Quality
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, 4 World Trade Center was conceived as conveying an abstract quality—minimal, light, cool in color, and ephemeral, changing with the light of day, Silverstein Properties said.
| The final steel beam begins its trip to the top of the 72-story tower.|
“Seen from a distance, the building presents a unique angular profile at the crown, in keeping with the spiral composition formed by the group of four towers and looking back to the Memorial and One World Trade Center,” the company said.
Said Maki, “The design of the tower at 150 Greenwich has two fundamental elements—a ‘minimalist’ tower that achieves an appropriate presence, quiet but with dignity, and a ‘podium’ that becomes a catalyst for activating the surrounding urban streetscape as part of the revitalization of lower Manhattan.”
The fourth tallest skyscraper planned for the World Trade Center site, 4 WTC will include 72 floors that total approximately 2.3 million square feet. It has been designed to meet a LEED Gold level of sustainable design, as are 7 World Trade Center and the other office buildings at the WTC site.
|A view from 4 World Trade Center, showing ironwork under construction, in a recent photo.|
A quarter of the office space is slated to become the new headquarters of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Another 600,000 square feet will be occupied by the City of New York. The remainder of the office space will be retained by Silverstein Properties for commercial tenants.
The podium base of 4 WTC is made up of the ground floor, plus two levels above grade and two floors below grade that are dedicated for retail uses including restaurants, shops and boutiques.
The conceptual design for 4 World Trade Center was unveiled in September 2006. In February 2008, excavation and foundation work began and in July 2009, below-grade work on the project was completed. Steel erection began in December 2009.
|The tower as seen from across the river, also in a recent photo.|
Glass curtain wall installation began in April 2011, and the building will be fully enclosed in December 2012, Silverstein Properties said. The building is scheduled to open in fall 2013.
In a story this past weekend in The New York Times, 4 World Trade Center tower was called “the biggest skyscraper New Yorkers have never heard of,” due to the buzz surrounding the much bigger 1 World Trade Center, also under construction at the WTC site.
But the Times story notes that the 4 World Trade Center architects are anything but dismayed by their creation’s relatively low profile. Maki and Associates have “deliberately designed their tower to be understated and deferential,” the story relates.
Maki, the story says, conceived the structure as a “respectful backdrop” to the National September 11 Memorial.
The Times story, which also provides interesting details about the 4 World Trade Center design, can be read at A 977-Foot Tower You May Not See.
Worker Injured on Construction Site
On the heels of the jubilant “topping out” ceremony on Monday came the news on Tuesday that a construction worker fell and suffered a serious injury on the 4 World Trade Center site when he was “impaled” on a rod of metal rebar.
The worker, 37, was hospitalized and the injury was not considered life-threatening. The steel rebar reportedly pierced the worker in the side.
The construction-management firm for the project, Tishman Construction, issued a statement on the accident, saying “A worker at the tower site accidentally slipped and was injured by a small steel rod that he was carrying in his pouch when he fell. The worker was transported from the site by ambulance. He appears to be stable, but we have no further details on his condition at this time.”