Message - 300 Windows on the World

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Posted by  Andrzej Gliwinski on September 15, 2002 at 04:03:28:

As one of the first and largest the New York centre of world trade (not a seat of WTO, because this came into being in 1994 year, not even perhaps of GATT, its predecessor) was not only ( is it and if it will ?) the one of 300 such centres on the world, but was a testimony of American opening on world business, in this case of New York one - whence perhaps a name of restaurant on 107 storey - "Window on the World", because the whole object was designed for international business, as one can suppose that mainly for that from outside USA, but concerned in its activity within the States. It places the logic of assassins onto this object in interesting light? This way they rather attacked "world business", but not American! If this was to be the attack on the American, perhaps there was something wrong here with their knowledge?! Besides, the object had this in its name - World Trade Center, and not American (or US) Trade Center!

I has already written earlier in this forum that WTC was a monument of American pragmatism. I uphold this opinion, but with a reservation - of pragmatism open onto the external world, without nationalism, if it is about a destination of object. It was not the monument of power of American capitalism, and rather of the world. Also controversial location of main dominant of agglomeration on a promontory of island (something like "a main mast afore of ship") can be explained by practical regards - position of a site in relation to three main New York international airports decided about it, the logical and very much so corresponding to rules of schematic modernist functionalism (a possibility of easy and quick approach), which in the name of one function was able to ignore all around. To be sure a geometrical centre of gravity is rather in Brooklyn near by the Civic Center, or on the other side of Brooklyn bridge, but this was already recognised for a little deviation from ideal diagram; besides, here there occured an interested owner of plot (The New York Port), which wanted only port hote "for itself "; there such one was not apparently, similarly as in Middle Manhattan where Rockefeller Center were extended (1957-73) with next 5 sky-scrapers (in sum - 19!). That centre - as I understand- it has been and being a main American centre of business of a global concern (GE). By the by, it has also its direct connections with those three airfields (the same subway). This absolves in a way an investor, who produced evidence of his good (town-planning) will - at last he had extended his own centre on Middle Manhattan at first, and not inversely!

I do not think this could absolve the main designer - who wanted perhaps to pay homage to Mies van der Rohe, and he has united two works of his master in one his own object - "Promontory Building" and "Lake Shore Drive", both in Chicago! Effect was visible! Rather doubtful homage, because Mies had a classic feeling of harmony and sure intuition of context. His pupil was rather lacking it.
A different effect - not intentional? - was a promiscuity of categories of functions in limit of the dead centre of city and central district through addition of object of world range of activity, while the other object of such range of activity on Manhattan existed already - on the Middle Manhattan - it is about a seat of UNO, of course! Some people of 50 thousands inhabitants of housing estates of downtown on Lower manhattan can not rather conceal any their "satisfaction" that they at last saw a sky in their windows!


1. WFC was projected in context of WTC; now there is no this context, but it itself determines the context for new object in this place. One of 6 proposals of "3xB" was even a continuation post-Art Deco stylistics of this centre... This means something, I think - why didn't the investor charge firm "3xP" with this project? It would be an analogy to extension of Rockefeller Center?

2. In the New York WTC was yet a seat of head office of WTCA. Does an abstract item of programme of new complex on the plot of WTC processed by LMDC - office, contain it?

3. Shouldn't these 300 WTCs reconstruct their headquarter - within the scope of any global business solidarity?
Or participate in this process at least?

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