Gaudi design proposed for WTC

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Gaudi design proposed for WTC

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Jan 24, 2003 10:32 am


Architectural plans by the late Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi are to be submitted to an international memorial competition for redesigns of New York's former World Trade Center site.

The design's backers say a memorial could be included
Gaudi's 95-year-old plans, which were originally designs for a futuristic hotel about the same size as the Empire State building, will be entered into the competition this spring by a group of art historians, architects and enthusiasts of his work.

It has been said that the plans may well have been intended for the original site of the World Trade Center, although this cannot be verified.

Some say that the designs may solve the dispute between developers and relatives of those who died in the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001.


Gaudi, born in 1852 and revered as one of Spain's most noted architects, is known for his inventive, flamboyant architecture which changed the face of Barcelona in the early 1900s. He died in 1926 after a street-car accident.

A lot of the other proposals are literal ego trips... but here is a way that everyone can be involved in a historical project from around the world

US architect Paul Laffoley

His design shows a curved cluster of steel and concrete towers at varying heights surrounding a central tower that would stand 1,048 feet (319 metres) tall.

Central to the design is a cathedral-style space about 400 feet (120 metres) high which originally would have honoured all the US presidents.

However, architects behind the submission have suggested that this space could instead be reserved for a memorial to those who died in the attacks.

Some New Yorkers have expressed approval of the drawings.

" [They are] absolutely amazing," said Jessica Pingatore.

"I think this city is beautiful and unique as it is, and with that it would just bring a new spirit."

'Historical project'

Nine proposed plans from seven architectural groups for the future of the site have already been put to the people of New York, however response was considerably muted.

New Yorkers expressed concern at the height of other new designs

Many expressed dismay that the designs - from notable architects such as Norman Foster and Richard Meier - did not adequately commemorate the dead, while others expressed concern for safety at the immense height of some proposals.

Other, earlier, designs were dismissed for being unimaginative.

The rebuilding of the World Trade Center has polarised the city.

Some say that no development is appropriate as the area is a mass grave, while others advocate building an even taller tower as an act of defiance against terrorism.

US architect Paul Laffoley, who is spearheading the effort to have Gaudi's plans re-examined, said that using such aged plans would resolve the tension between the two groups.

"It's 77 years since Gaudi died - a lot of the other proposals are literal ego trips," he told the Associated Press news agency.

"But here is a way that everyone can be involved in a historical project from around the world."
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Paul Clerkin
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Postby ro_G » Fri Jan 24, 2003 10:57 am

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