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EDITIONS
Monday, 10 February, 2003, 12:12 GMT
Which WTC design gets your vote?
Manhattan Skyline
Two plans which would create the world's tallest structure have been chosen as finalists for the World Trade Center site in New York.

Both designs feature structures higher than the two towers destroyed on 11 September 2001.

The final choice is expected later this month.

Talking Point: World Trade Centre Designs
The two finalists: Libeskind (left) and the Think team (right)

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.

Which of the two final designs get your vote? What would you like to see on the site of the World Trade Center?

Thank you for your e-mails. This debate is now closed. A selection of your comments is published below.


I predict nobody will want to rent space in either of these giant, hideous structures.

Matthew, USA
Will the taxpayers of New York City still be happy when they're asked to foot the bill? I predict nobody will want to rent space in either of these giant, hideous structures.
Matthew, USA

New York needs an addition to its skyline that will inspire future generations. The most notable features in the New York Skyline were taken away. They need to be replaced with the most notable architecture of any skyline in the world. That would be a true memorial to those lost, all of New York City and the rest of The United States.
Joshua D. Anderson, USA

Aside from them being the tallest buildings in the world, they have absolutely nothing to recommend them. Having to choose between the two of these is like having to pick a president from the 2 major parties. You mean to tell me this is the best anyone could come up with?
Marcella, USA

From an engineering viewpoint the Think proposal is absurd. Their lovely image of two glass tubes will be destroyed when concrete floors are added. The Libeskind design is far superior in my opinion.
Dave, UK

I think that the towers should be rebuilt, exactly as they were. A monument to human dignity, respect and love, forces that can never be destroyed. A monument that says out loud: Nobody will destroy the American dream.
Anthony, Canada

The Think Team design offers a beautiful ghost image of the towers

Amy, USA
I adore the Think Team design, it offers a beautiful ghost image of the towers. I think that will be comforting, not too imposing, very stylish, while sending a message that "we don't forget". It says a lot.
Amy, USA

Why not let America have the world's tallest building again? After the terrible act of terror on September 11th, surely something to give their country some pride cannot be grudged.
Col, Scotland, UK

These proposals are disgraceful. What's so wrong with proposing a "World Cultural Park" and plant trees for every life lost.
Steve, Canada

I vote for the Think Team design. It is not just another building and will certainly cause us to remember what once was. It sort of says it all.
Arlaine Cervantes, USA

I am disappointed that New York seems to have learnt nothing from September 11, 2001. Such large buildings are just going to be a target for the next lot of crazies with a plane and not much planned for the next day. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Leo, New Zealand

The committee should have chosen the Gaudi design. What better tribute to the victims than to erect a building designed by a genius! It would also have enlightened many Americans to a bit of Spanish/European culture.
Salva, Spain

More thought provoking than pretty

Terry, Japan
The Think Tank proposal gets my nod for paying tribute to the shape of the original towers while adding an element of fragility. The towers look back in memory to what was before but are not so arrogant and imposing as the originals. More thought provoking than pretty, which is appropriate for a memorial.
Terry, Japan

As a New Yorker who lived and worked under the WTC, I feel very strongly that we must rebuild bigger and better than before. Both designs provide beautiful and inspiring monuments. I fear however that they, and certainly the Think Team design seem to be monuments to the past and less like forward looking monuments to New York's greatness. Let the park be a memorial - make the buildings inspire, and give us something that makes us look forward to tomorrow.
Manish Thakur, New York, NY, USA

The thing NYC and the US need the most is a tall structure to replace the WTC. We need to reassert our strength and not build something that makes us look meek and weak.
Eva Games, USA

A place like that in Manhattan would be priceless

Steve Dark, USA
Why not turn it into a memorial park, a place for people and their kids? Something along the line of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, with the names of the dead engraved in stone, and surrounded by the most beautiful trees and flowers imaginable. Not defiant, not hateful, but a memorial for the dead and a nice place for the living. A place like that in Manhattan would be priceless.
Steve Dark, USA

I think neither of the projects is adequate for the task of evoking the greatness of America. I really don't know what would be better, but I think the new building should be something glorious above any doubt, Proud and defiant to terrorism.
Manuel Sandez, Mexico

How about neither of the above? They are both hideous, especially the Think Team design. If a memorial is desired - then build a memorial, not an eyesore. A tasteful memorial and maybe a standard skyscraper or two.
Nicolas, USA

The Libeskind proposal is the more attractive of the two - but I am of the view, that as that much office space is not needed anymore on that site, that a low-rise design incorporating parks, offices and a memorial linked by a crystal palace of some sort may be the best utilization of that site.
Eric Wachspress, U.S.A.

I much preferred the Foster design and the Littenberg design.

Neil Jones, UK
Both finalist designs are quite blatantly awful. Neither of them should have become "finalists" in my mind - I much preferred the Foster design and the Littenberg design personally. Having said that though, to choose between the two, I'd go for Libeskind. If the powers that be go for the Think Team design then I hope that it looks much better when built than it does from the pictures presented here and on the other page...
Neil Jones, West Midlands, UK

Both selections look pretty un-inspired. The WTC needs to be rebuilt with a memorial at the bottom and throughout the building. Simply creating a "shell" of the building does not give it the honour it truly deserves.
Shea, Seattle, Wa, USA

Both of these proposals, together with the seven others just now set aside, are vastly better than the previous renewal options. I worry, however, that in practice the Libeskind design would be reduced to a tranche of fairly ordinary development with only the 'garden' spire and some angular geometry here and there to spice the whole thing up.

On the other hand, the Vinoly / Schwartz design seems to be all or nothing. Their proposed 'towers' have no commercial value in themselves - you either build them or you don't. This is a strength, in that their design is very difficult to dilute, but it may also be the reason their design is not selected. Personally, I prefer the "Think" design.
Charlie Whitaker, London, UK

I actually prefer it how it is now

Will, UK
Following the September 11 attacks, and the collapse of the WTC towers, I believed the New York skyline would never be the same again. Having flown in January, my assumption was proved correct. However, now I find my eye drawn uptown to the Empire State building, Chrysler building and the gothic, art deco splendour for which New York is famous. I actually prefer it how it is now. The last thing New York needs is the addition of another enormous glass-and-steel monstrosity, a defiance, certainly, but also a magnet for further attacks.
Will, UK

I'm sorry, but judging from the pictures here on the BBC's website, both designs look absolutely awful; with particular derision going to Think Team's design. Couldn't they have included more companies? Held an open competition? Literally any individual architect could have sent in a design, and then let the people of New York vote on the choices via web-vote?
S.G., Canada

The Think team design seems reminiscent of what was before.

Donal Reilly, USA
As someone who drove the BQE past the Twin Towers every day and was personally affected by the events of 9/11 the Think team design seems reminiscent of what was before. There is comfort in that.
Donal Reilly, USA

I believe the THINK team's design is the most inspiring. It strikes the right balance between memorial for the dead and reclaiming the site for the living. I would like to see the 8 office buildings in the THINK design reduced to three or four taller buildings allowing more open park space in the final design.
Jeff, NY, USA

I personally find both proposals to be unsightly. There have been many tragedies before - and at the majority of the sites a new building was erected. Of course 9/11 is different than a fire or maybe even a car bomb, but to rebuild what was taken away would say much more than what the erecting towers of steel can. The sky line of NYC needs a sturdy backbone; the twin towers provided that support; it is because of that, that I feel we should rebuild the twin towers; or a similar structure of greater size; and not smaller buildings dwarfed by a lanky monument which demonstrates nothing other than a mourning nation - the GI's never even received a monument as large!
Marshall, United States of America

I'm confident that the Libeskind design will be touching

Mayer, England
I'd choose Libeskind's building. The Think team's looks a touch tacky, and having visited in the Jewish Museum in Berlin I'm confident that the Libeskind design will be touching, stylish and exciting.
Mayer, England

When making my decision on which of the two design should reach the final, I considered the surrounds and what they would benefit from the most - my final conclusion was that The Think Team reflected a more environmentally calming approach, something which I feel the streets of New York could do with. It is a refreshing design that would arouse a more peaceful outlook on the working day.
Nicola Gedye, United Kingdom

Libeskind is by far the better design. The sleek lines make it a far more attractive building.
Peter, NZ

The Think team's design is just beautiful. It evokes the memory of the towers in their shape and gesture, but they also have a distinctly modern use of form and light. I can easily imagine the skyline in harmony with this large, open structure.
Rebecca Singer, USA

The site is, and always should be respected as a mass grave. Can you imagine the uproar if Disney wanted to build a theme park in the middle of Northern France Cemetries, where many lost their lives in WW I & II? The same would be true if Valley Forge Park in PA was changed into a housing development. The site of the WTC is sacred ground, and no commercial enterprise is worth more than the price of human life lost there
Nigel, UK based in Pennsylvania, US

None of these meet the aspirations of anyone who has worked in the previous buildings. We are not cowards, we need to re-build the structures taller and more bold than the previous one, with adequate security in place. I think the design by Foster and Partners came closest to fulfilling the aspirations of New Yorkers. I am disappointed in the choice. C'mon New Yorkers, nobody beats you!
Chanchal Chakraborty, USA

The building should be full of people and life.

Ashwani Khanna, Germany
The Libeskind design. It is important to build bigger and better buildings at the site. The building should be full of people and life. This sends a clear message to all forms of terrorism - that do what you want- we will return, bigger better stronger- and this will be a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11. If you want to build a memorial, build it in the lobby so that whoever enters the building sees it, lest we forget.
Ashwani Khanna, Germany

I think if they build there should be a memorial in the top floor.
Greg Pozzi, US

They are both dreary.
Steve, Canada

I love the Think team's design! It reminds me of crystal.

Cheryl Ruiz, USA
I love the Think team's design! It reminds me of crystal. It would be a magnificent addition to the New York skyline! Doing justice to the original Twin Towers. The area should include a memorial garden for anyone who would like to have a peaceful place to remember the many innocent people who died there. I do think this is the most fitting design put forth. Bravo Think team!
Cheryl Ruiz, USA

The space WTC space should be used to CREATE a work of innovation, purity of idea, and the greatness of our technology, resources, and location. I elect a Wright-Gerhy hybrid, a group/individual who can beautifully integrate nature with technology. If we are to show the world that we have recovered, grown, and changed for the better because of what happened- then we should promote change and innovation. Not the same outline of other towers, not a larger skeleton (or target) to re-build. If the US in its blinding stupidity wants to be the biggest, largest, greatest.. then let this structure be the most unique.
Joy Menary, USA

 VOTE RESULTS
Which design gets your vote?

Libeskind
 44.83% 

The Think Team
 55.17% 

14750 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

04 Feb 03 | Americas
18 Dec 02 | Americas
13 Jan 03 | Americas
18 Dec 02 | Americas
Links to more Talking Point stories are at the foot of the page.


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