The building has a functional height of 1,268 feet and has 94 floors usable floors, even though the top floor is designated as Floor 104. The combined occupied area of the building exceeds 3.5 million square feet. Construction on the tower was completed in 2013, and the building was opened to tenants in late 2014. Even though it has fewer occupied floors, the rebuilt tower is slightly taller than the original twin towers.
David Childs and Daniel Libeskind designed the building in 2002 as a replacement for the destroyed Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center. The building was rebuilt by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the construction was completed by Tishman Construction, which also completed the construction on the original World Trade Center towers.
Minoru Yamasaki designed the original World Trade Center, which featured two 110-story towers. The North Tower was completed in 1970. The South Tower was completed in 1972. By the mid-1980’s, the complex had grown to include seven buildings of varying heights, none of which were as tall as the twin towers. Originally, the World Trade Center was intended as a neighborhood revitalization project for Lower Manhattan. On a typical weekday, as many as 250,000 people could be in the towers at one time.
The rebuilt tower design was selected following a competition held in 2002. The winning design underwent a number of modifications before being finalized in 2005. The modifications increased the height of the tower, and made changes to the base of the design to improve its appearance and security. Despite the design delays, a symbolic cornerstone for the building was laid on July 4, 2004.
Construction on the base of the new tower was begun in 2006. The structural steel was completed in 2008. Glass window installation began in 2010. The building uses 2,112 insulated, laminated Viracon glass windows. Glass plays a major role in the shape of the building, and its design was changed a number of times before being finalized. In addition to its glass windows, the building incorporates 13-foot pairs of glass fins at the base. The original design called for prismatic glass to be used at the base of the tower, but this proved to be impractical, and this design element was dropped due to safety concerns. The base of the tower was deliberately designed with no windows, and is surrounded by concrete.
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Photo Credit: Jean-Christophe Bruneau, via Flickr.com