Simplicity and Geometry
One WTC begins from a 200ft square footprint – exactly the same dimensions as the original twin towers. From a height of 20ft, it begins to gently taper at the corners. By the time it reaches the uppermost 104th storey, the floor plan is again a square, but slightly smaller and twisted through 45 degrees. At its midpoint, it is a perfect octagon. From base to parapet, the building is also the same height as the twin towers – 1,368ft [417m] – before its crowning mast takes it up to the symbolic height of 1,776ft [541m], reflecting the year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and making it the tallest tower in the western hemisphere.
“We always thought this building should be about simplicity and geometry,” says architect TJ Gottesdiener, managing partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), who led the design team. “We tried to make it look as clean, strong, monumental as possible and that meant making it look as simple as possible – although this is far from a simple building.”