One World Trade Center

sights / Architecture

One World Trade Center information

New York City , USA
cnr West & Vesey Sts
Getting there
Subway: E to World Trade Center; 2/3 to Park Pl; A/C, J/Z, 4/5 to Fulton St; R to Cortlandt St
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Home to One World Observatory – New York's highest observation deck – the 104-floor One World Trade Center is architect David M Childs' redesign of Daniel Libeskind's original 2002 concept. Not only the loftiest building in America, this tapered giant is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, not to mention the fourth tallest in the world by pinnacle height.

The tower soars skywards with chamfered edges. The result is a facade of isosceles triangles that, seen from the base, reach to infinity. Crowning the structure is a 408ft cabled-stayed spire. Co-designed by sculptor Kenneth Snelson, it brings the building's total height to 1776ft, a symbolic reference to the year of American independence. Indeed, symbolism feeds several aspects of the building: the tower's footprint is equal to those of the twin towers, while the observation decks match the heights of those in the former complex. Unlike the original towers, however, One WTC was built with a whole new level of safety in mind, its precautionary features including a 200ft-high blast-resistant base (clad in over 2000 pieces of glimmering prismatic glass) and 1m-thick concrete walls encasing all elevators, stairwells, and communication and safety systems. One thing that wasn't foreseen by the architects and engineers was the antenna's noisy disposition; the strong winds that race through its lattice design producing a haunting, howling sound known to keep some locals up at night.