The prismatic glass façade panels that were due to cover the lower section of 1 World Trade Center (1WTC) have been scrapped the New York Times reported yesterday. 2,000 transparent crystalline panels designed to beautify the 185ft high concrete base of the towering 1WTC by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) have been found to be ‘brittle and prone to shatter’ explained the newspaper.
An estimated $10m has already been spent on the glass and yet Childs has reportedly been sent back to the drawing board to conjure up an alternative plan after the manufactured glass panels began to bow and split into large fragments rather than the desired small, chunky sections commonly found in safety glass. Construction of the glass curtain wall had already reached the 34th floor.
A spokesman for the Port Authority explained: “As design moved to the testing phase, it became clear that the prismatic glass simply had too many technical problems to overcome and at a budget that was not cost effective. We have been finalising a design that will be far more practical while being both distinctive and magnificent.”
Elsewhere on the World Trade Center site, Towers 2, 3 and 4 are rising at an impressive one floor per week, the lobby in 4WTC is now built and the first glass panels have been installed on the exterior. The foundations have been laid for 2WTC and 3WTC with both buildings on course to reach street level by the end of 2011.
Two signature pools at the 9/11 Memorial have now been completed, over 150 trees have been planted on the Memorial Plaza, and the steel installation for the Museum’s Visitor’s Center is now complete.