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05.23.2007
Mr. Rogers' Lobby
Silverstein unveils renderings of WTC 3's lobby

Silverstein Properties has released renderings of the airy, sunlight-filled lobby of the Richard Rogers-designed World Trade Center Tower 3. These are the first detailed designs of a World Trade Center structure to be unveiled since Silverstein presented exterior renderings of three skyscrapers (including Tower 3) in September 2006. The 71-story, 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use building, which also links to an underground transit hub,will rise at175Greenwich Street between towers byNormanFosterandFumihiko Maki.

According to Mickey Kupperman, Silverstein’s director of design at the World Trade Center site, the lobby design is being released in advance of details on other parts of the building due to the space’s pivotal role as a threshold between several destinations. “The lobby is not just an entrance to an office building,” said Kupperman. “It’s also an entrance to the underground transit hub and to the retail functions. It’s an important part of the building and requires more than picking finishes and lighting.” Tower 3 will have five retail levels—one on the ground floor, two above, and two below grade— totaling 133,000 square feet. 

The design locates access to the transit and retail areas in the southwest corner of the building, which will face onto Greenwich and Cortland streets. Visitors can also use this core to enter the more private office lobby, which will feature a waiting area, reception desk, and security turnstiles. As with the lobby of the already-complete 7 World Trade Center, the design seeks to combine heightened security measures with an open, inviting atmosphere, said Kupperman. The lobby’s primary partitions—those separating exterior and interior, and those separating the retail/ transit core from the office lobby—are all made of glass. The facade will also function as a “big picture window” onto the World Trade Center Memorial.

Work on the rest of Tower 3 continues apace. “Progress is consistent with everything you’d expect coming close to the end of design development, which should be finished by the first of July,” said Kupperman, who described his job as being more a director of designers than a director of design. “The core is very well developed and we’re almost done with the office floor layouts.” He added that right now a lot of attention is being focused on the curtain wall. When the exterior of the building was unveiled in September it drew a lot of comment for its uncanny resemblance to Foster’s pal Renzo Piano’s New York Times Building on 8th Avenue across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is all but complete. Both designs feature slender towers set back from rectangular podiums, exposed perimeter steel columns and cross bracing, and column-less corners for unimpeded views.

At this time there has been no alteration to the schedule put forth in September, which set completion of Tower 3 for 2011, four years after Silverstein gets possession of the site, and completion of all three towers by 2012. 

Aaron Seward