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Friday, 27 September, 2002, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
New shortlist for World Trade Center design
Ground Zero after clearing work
New York authorities say they are looking for "creativity"
Six teams of architects from across the globe have been shortlisted in the race to redevelop the site of the former World Trade Center in New York.

The competition was re-opened after initial plans were rejected
The teams, selected from more than 400 submissions from 34 countries, were chosen to develop new design schemes for the site after initial plans for the site were criticised as being too dull.

A panel of academics had less than a week to make the selection, which includes some of architecture's most famous names.

A key factor in their decision was the development of ideas considered to be innovative yet sensitive to the feelings of relatives of those killed in the Twin Towers on 11 September last year.

"The worldwide community of architects and planners responded with efforts that represent the most innovative, thoughtful and inspired design thinking today," said chairman of the development corporation, John Whitehead.

"Our rebuilding effort deserves nothing less."

Eclectic group

Each of the teams now has up to two months to develop several different plans for the site, which was devastated by the 11 September attacks.

Wreckage from World Trade Center
Some relatives of victims want only a memorial on the site

However officials have said that the final design may ultimately incorporate elements from several of the proposals.

Among the eclectic group of those shortlisted are British architect Lord Norman Foster, who designed London's Millennium Bridge and the revamp of the German Parliament in Berlin, and Richard Meier, who built the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Studio Daniel Libeskind, the brains behind the Jewish Museum in Berlin, was also selected, with remaining teams including several large international collaborations by large companies such as United Architects and the Think group.

All teams are expected to visit New York to be briefed by city officials on the requirements of the site.

Construction is expected to begin around the second anniversary of the 11 September attacks.

Emotional issue

The re-design process was opened up to international competition last month, after critics said the six initial proposals presented by the body overseeing the re-building process were boring.

Redevelopment of the site has also been complicated by concerns about the emotional impact for relatives of victims of the attack, some of whom have been vocal in their opposition to rebuilding on the site.

Others criticised initial proposals for being dominated by office buildings at the expense of an adequate memorial for those who died.

The BBC's Nick Higham
"The redeveloped site will have less office space than the World Trade Center"

New York despatches





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