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EDITIONS
 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 18:19 GMT
Which WTC design gets your vote?
The New York public gets to say what they want built on the site of the former twin towers this week.

Public hearings into the nine separate designs are to be broadcast across the city.

In December, leading architects presented their plans, aimed at pleasing business interests alongside honouring those who died when the original twin towers collapsed.

Earlier blueprints for the site were abandoned by New Yorkers for being unimaginative and this time round, the competing companies were given more freedom with the designs.

Though more than half of people said in a New York Times survey that they don't want to work on a high-up floor, five of the nine designs are for structures bigger than the world's current tallest building, the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.

What do you think New Yorkers will like or dislike about the new plans for downtown Manhattan?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

I didn't like any of the designs; they were either hideous and vile or far too European-looking for New York, which is an American city first. Personally (and I have held this view since 9/11/01), I think the towers should be rebuilt to look as they did before. I disagree that seeing them again will be traumatic; it's certainly no less traumatic to see a giant gap in the NYC skyline or some hideous monstrosity where the WTC should be. Every time someone looks at that gap or some George Jetson space age building in that space, they'll remember what used to be there. Why not just reproduce it? It fitted.
Stacey Turner, England (ex-US)

New York City operates on a grand scale and is synonymous with innovation

Dean, New York
New York City operates on a grand scale and is synonymous with innovation and intrepidness, the essences of its soul. No doubt, a new structure will be reflect this. The Foster design seems disharmonious with the skyline due to its sheer size. I feel the United Architects design offers the most forward-looking design. It is a community of graduating-height structures providing visual relief with the requisite pinnacle of achievement. Yes, this city has an ego. So what are you going to do about it?
Dean, NY, USA

I think the Peterson Littenberg design is the best. It marks a memorial park in the middle. The 911 tragedy is the nightmare for lots of Americans, however it can not be the reason to stop rebuilding great towers. The new towers not only play an important role in US economy but also a symbol of bravery against terrorism.
Megan Gu, ROC

Sir Foster's design best showed our continuing progress towards the future. On the other hand the Peterson Littenberg design is a more modern day memorial that would be better suited for reflection and remembrance. I think the decision lies on the question of whether we want to dwell on the past or look to the future.
Ian T. Clark, USA

Defiance shouldn't be the over-riding factor.

Steve B, Scotland
Defiance shouldn't be the over-riding factor. Most of the designs seem to follow the phallic "bigger is better" concept. Perhaps if they got rid of the space between towers and went for one shorter, wider building it could give the same floor area while still leaving room for a memorial and producing something that sits into the skyline without making itself yet another target.
Steve B, Scotland

I live in New York and I think all the designs are horrible. Ego and money are the governing forces behind rebuilding the area. 16 acres in lower Manhattan isn't really all that big when they talk about real estate. I believe the space should be left as a memorial park. Almost 3,000 people died that day. Isn't it more important to remember that than how much rent can be collected ? Are there any women architects putting in for the bids? We all know what those building plans really mean.
Mary Ann, USA

I would have to say the Foster design is the most aesthetically pleasing. Nothing expresses the American spirit better than a design that is bigger, bolder, and in your face. But I also like the design because it reserves a majority of the ground space for a memorial , and surrounding garden. I also believe once it is completed in 2013 most people will be over their paranoia of tall buildings.
Matthew B, USA

None of these designs fit. But some show promise.

Pat Carson, USA
None of these designs fit. But some show promise. I would like to see a design worked into a circle of unity with a conical rising fountain in the center. The fountain would have little plaques all down it with survivors names on it. The buildings would reflect into one another sharing light over the fountain. The tallest building in the area around the center would set the maximum height of the new WTC. Foster & Partners obviously has the ability to create the design. I would like to get them to submit one like this.
Pat Carson, USA

The design proposals are good, but I feel the towering lights would be a more fitting memorial.
Jeffrey Cosby, USA

As a born and raised New Yorker, I feel it has to be the Foster design - our skyline is naked without the Towers rising above downtown Manhattan. The Foster design would restore the skyline to its former glory, and would always remind us what was once there, thus never allowing anyone to forget. It's a moving and defiant replacement, and I hope it's realized one day.
Brendan, NYC, NY, USA

Some are not nearly as impressive or fitting as the WTC was

Dmitriy Moroz, USA/Russia
None of the current design proposals are good enough - some are not nearly as impressive or fitting as the WTC was and others are just plain outlandish and bizarre. Back to the drawing boards, sirs!
Dmitriy Moroz, USA/Russia

As a Battery Park resident whose apartment was destroyed on 9/11 I have been actively involved in the public debate on rebuilding the WTC site. As I walked home from the LMDC meeting last night I felt that process had become a ship without a captain. The LMDC committee seems ineffective in making the kind of choices required to do justice to the site. We need vision. The kind of vision that we can all be proud of for many years to come.
Nick, USA

Growing up in New York I was able to watch the original two towers being built. I thought they were ugly then. I still think they were ugly. The current proposals all seem to be just another two towers of Babylon, where the only common criteria is that they have to be large. Why not just make something that is practical, energy efficient, and economical? And that will actually be fully utilised? And it wouldn't hurt to have something that looks just as good close up and on the inside as from a distance.
Vig, UK/USA

The wisest step would be to leave the landscape as it is, surrounded by a wall, and wait until the war against the terrorists is won. You might even be able to build a higher World Trade Center then. It is better to wait and not to be sentimental about it.
Agha Ata, USA

Why don't they give these architects a box of Lego bricks? They couldn't do any worse and it would be a heck of a lot cheaper. Better a big empty hole than these monstrous carbuncles!
Lydia, France

For me it has to be Foster's design. Bold, beautiful, confident, strident.
Natalie, UK

New York is the greatest city in the world, a groundbreaker and leader in many forms of culture - art, rap, punk, cinema, theatre. The new structures must reflect this. I hope to see something really revolutionary symbolising the heart of New York.
Kenny, UK

Having viewed the designs I can only conclude that these guys' egos are even more inflated than I thought possible - Foster's in particular is tantamount to madness - the site should be landscaped tastefully at ground level and represent world peace and international understanding as opposed to multi-million dollar megalomania.
Mark Reay, UK

As a New Yorker, I don't feel any will really fit into the NY skyline the way the towers did. It would at least have to have the same shape as the towers, like the Think team design. The others look either too boring or way too futuristic for NYC.
Mary, USA

The green areas give us a place to reflect

Fred Talledo, USA
Peterson's work fits in with the existing architecture of New York. The green areas give us a place to reflect on the victims of 9/11 and it is taller than the WTC, a reminder to friend and foe alike, that from destruction something more beautiful will arise, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The other pieces simply do not fit.
Fred Talledo, USA

Let's face it. Space is incredibly expensive in Manhattan and leaving the place empty is an unrealistic proposal. None of the projects overwhelms. However Foster's one is the least unacceptable.
Meerkat, USA

I just hope that whatever is eventually selected will be a fitting landmark for New York and a symbol to the world that this is a city that will not be cowered. Nothing would be worse than just another collection of bland uninspired commercial buildings.
Desmond Harte, UK

The public debate surrounding this project is as important as what eventually is built there

Anna, NYC
I live in New York and was amidst that cloud of dust running for dear life as the South Tower collapsed and therefore, like all New Yorkers am very invested in the future of that site. But what strikes me now, is actually what struck me on 9/11/01 and that is the remarkable community that New York is. To me, the public debate surrounding this project is as important as what eventually is built there.
Anna, NYC

Personally I prefer the Foster and Partners design because it is impressive and unique, and also taller and more impressive than the original twin towers and will serve as a defiant gesture to terrorists everywhere; that no matter what they do, whatever they destroy we can build it again bigger and better than before.
Gary, Britain

I think the design from Foster and Associates is the most graceful. From where I sit now, I can look directly at the skyline where the WTC stood, and it's clearly still missing the defining, focal structure. The two kissing towers would be incredible, especially glowing at night high above the city. And contrary to popular belief, I think most New Yorkers would be very happy to work or live in them. I would.
Mel W, NYC, USA

It is very respectful of the site

Richard Haut, Nice, France
The Think team's scheme appears to come closest to answering the various elements which I believe New Yorkers wish to see. It is very respectful of the site, but also captures the idea of standing tall in the face of tragedy. It puts the site above mere commercialism. Some of the other schemes are perhaps too conscious of providing commercial space and while of very high quality, like Norman Foster's proposals, do not seem to move forward enough for a site connected with so many different needs and emotions.
Richard Haut, Nice, France

Is it really necessary for another building to be built in South Manhattan when surely it would end up being a sitting duck for the terrorists? As a sign of respect shouldn't the people of New York leave the space where the two towers once stood as a memorial to those who died?
Sam, London, England

The first designs were thrown out for being unimaginative and the same should happen to these. Unfortunately, all the designs submitted are related to creating the most income and not for remembering what happened.
Chris Heron, Canada

Lord Foster's design is breathtaking

Shawn, Washington, DC, USA
I think it's important to remember that the Twin Towers were absolutely despised when they first went up, but time proved the critics wrong. New Yorkers believed that those giants ruined the skyline, but they grew into beloved landmarks of New York City. All great art and architecture is controversial at first. Lord Foster's design is breathtaking. I for one do not want an imitation of a 20th century skyscraper going up at the site. That would be very disappointing.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

I think they will want any design to incorporate a memorial garden. Something peaceful, thoughtful and uplifting. Not something like the morose memorial to bombing in Oklahoma City. New Yorkers are fighters, not victims. I don't think they will really be thrilled by any of the plans - especially the design by the Think Team. Who wants the skeletal remains of the WTC haunting the NY skyline?
Eric Fries, USA

The Peterson design (twin towers with park space in middle) is my pick. Everything else is outlandish looking. The Foster design, for example, looks like a couple of upside down chisels. Why should a replacement for the WTC towers have to look strange?
David, USA

It should be something that displays the spirit of New York and its wonderful people

Rob Warde, UK
I lived in NYC during September 2001. I know what the people of the city felt. They should remember what has happened but also realise that the city needs to move forward. It should be something that displays the spirit of New York and its wonderful people.
Rob Warde, UK

For me, it would be a tie between Foster and Partners creation and the Think team design. Overall, to be honest, I don't think any of them really stands out.
Bea Bailey, UK

Looking at some of these designs, particularly that Foster monstrosity, you have to ask whether the people of New York haven't suffered enough.
Michael Wilkins, UK

See also:

18 Dec 02 | Americas
13 Jan 03 | Americas
18 Dec 02 | Americas
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