One World Trade Center as seen from street level. Image: Matthew Henry / Unsplash
One World Trade Center as seen from street level. Image: Matthew Henry / Unsplash

On the 17th anniversary of the world-changing September 11 terrorist attack, we look at the architectural marvel One World Trade Center. The skyscraper serves as both a reminder of the terrible event and a beacon of optimism for New Yorkers. 

Here are 8 facts about One World Trade Center from the soon-to-be-released book Scrapers by Zack Scott:

1. Tallest in New York

On completion in 2014 One World Trade Center took the title of tallest building in New York City, the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

2. Controversy Over Design

After a handful of uninspired building plans were submitted, the Lower Manhattan Development District launched a competition. World-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind won the competition, however site developer and leaseholder Larry Silverstein ended up bringing in architect David Childs to “steer the ship”. The completed tower bears little resemblance to Libeskind’s master plans.

3. Safety First

Understandably, the new building had to be as safe as possible. Working with terrorism experts, David Childs introduced several features to minimise the chance of attack including 91-centimetre thick concrete walls around all stairwells and elevator shafts and the ventilation systems are fitted with filters for biological and chemical threats.

4. A Nod to Independence

The building’s antenna is 1776 feet (541,3 metres) from ground level which is nod to the year 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

5. The Observation Deck

The observation deck occupies floors 100 to 102 and its height coincides with that of the shorter of the two original World Trade Center towers.

6. The Spire That Wasn’t

The original plans featured a spire which would have made the building height 1776 feet, but to save cost it was replaced with a bare antenna made up of a base, seven sections and topped with a glass-covered beacon.

7. The Form

The building starts on a square base, becomes octagonal mid-way up and then returns to a square at the top. This creates eight elongated triangular facets on the building’s surface.

8. The Structure

The core of the building is made from the strongest concrete ever used in New York. One World Trade Center is a concrete and steel hybrid with steel beams set into the core which differs from its predecessors which had the steel frame on the outside of the building.

Scrapers by Zack Scott One World Trade Center
Scrapers by Zack Scott will be released in South Africa in October. Image: Zack Scott

Love skyscrapers? Zack Scott’s book Scrapers is a visual history of the world’s tallest buildings. Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers it will be available in South Africa in October 2018.