The design of the tower currently called 2 World Trade Center marks the arrival into the heart of American and global business of the conceptual logic developed several decades ago by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Its presentation—in the form of a video (below) as slick as anything on the multiple screens that make up our window into current and future reality—shows the transformation of architectural representation into something more akin to games or advertisements. The building’s program evidences the dominance of communications and data in all aspects of our economy. Luckily, the synthesis of all of this is an appealing design by Bjarke Ingels and BIG, the current King of Konceptual Ikons.
First, the presentation. Created by Squint/Opera, it stars Ingels in his matter-of-fact, but self-assured manner, seemingly drawing in the air and over buildings around Manhattan. He explains that all he is doing is stacking up the basic blocks that make up Manhattan’s meat to create a tower almost as tall as the bland One World Trade Center, while preserving views and sun corridors and sculpting the whole to fit into Daniel Libeskind, AIA’s master plan for Ground Zero. I am not buying it all, but the argument and its cartoon explanation certainly work well, while the fly-throughs of the un-built structure that follow are, if fairly standard in style, remarkable in their level of detail and lightness. […]