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Art & Design|Richard Rogers to Design Tower at Ground Zero


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Art & Design

Richard Rogers to Design Tower at Ground Zero


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The British architect Richard Rogers, who helped create the Pompidou Center in Paris and is remaking the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, has been chosen to design a tower to be built by the developer Larry A. Silverstein at the former World Trade Center site, officials are to announce today.

Lord Rogers will design Tower 3 at 175 Greenwich Street, which will include two million square feet of office space.

The Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki is to design Tower 4 at 150 Greenwich Street, with 1.8 million square feet of office space. Although Mr. Maki was chosen by Mr. Silverstein in 2003 for the roster of designers at ground zero, his mandate was unclear until now.

Tower 3 is Lord Rogers's fourth major commission in New York. In addition to the Javits Center, which he is designing with FX Fowle, he is involved in a $200 million project to transform a two-mile stretch of the Lower Manhattan waterfront and a $1 billion expansion of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, Queens.


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"It seems like everybody's lined up together now with the desire to move forward," Mike Davies, the director of Richard Rogers Partnership, said in a telephone interview.

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The design work on both Tower 3 and Tower 4 will begin immediately, Silverstein Properties said, with concept drawings due in four months and construction expected to start in 2007.

Given the squabbles that have repeatedly delayed reconstruction at ground zero, such projections are likely to be treated with skepticism. And some planners have questioned whether a coherent aesthetic can emerge at a site involving so many cooks.

In addition to Daniel Libeskind, who designed the master plan for the site, architects include David C. Childs, designer of a so-called Freedom Tower; Norman Foster, chosen in December to design Tower 2; Michael Arad, creator of a proposed ground zero memorial; Santiago Calatrava, whose PATH station is now rising at the site; and Frank Gehry, who was drafted to design a performing arts center.

"The lack of uniformity makes for tremendous excitement," Mr. Silverstein said. "Diversity here is a hugely important goal."

Mr. Silverstein has often sparred with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over the terms of his development deal. Last week he agreed to surrender control of the $2 billion Freedom Tower, although he will be paid a 1 percent fee to build it under the supervision of the Port Authority.

Photo The British architect Richard Rogers was chosen to design Tower 3. Credit Andrea Comas/Reuters

But Mr. Silverstein's associates emphasized that the various architects and planners were striving for cooperation. Representatives of Lord Rogers and Mr. Maki met yesterday with Port Authority officials, construction officials and a representative from the office of Lord Foster.

"It was really about the specifics of how exactly are we going to get these designs done," said Janno N. Lieber, senior vice president for Silverstein Properties. "This has got to be a different kind of a process. It's got to be collaborative from the get-go."


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Silverstein Properties recently completed 7 World Trade Center, a 52-story skyscraper north of ground zero, also designed by Mr. Childs.

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Although the French architect Jean Nouvel had originally been chosen to design Tower 5, Mr. Silverstein's recent deal turned control of that building over to the Port Authority, and it is expected to be sold to a residential developer.

But Mr. Lieber said, "We very much hope that, whether it's the Port Authority or some other development entity, they would consider using Nouvel, because he's of the design stature that this warrants."

Under his agreement with the Port Authority, Mr. Silverstein is to develop Towers 3 and 4 ahead of Tower 2 because of their concentration of retail space, the developer's office said.

"It's early stages" for Tower 2, said Michael Jelliffe, a partner at Lord Foster's firm.

In addition to the Pompidou Center, which he designed with Renzo Piano in 1977, Lord Rogers is perhaps best known for the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England, Among his other prominent buildings are the Barajas Airport in Madrid — a sequence of steel waves — and his law courts in Bordeaux, France, comprising seven courtroom "pods" within a glass wall under an undulating copper roof.

Mr. Maki, 77, won the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1993, only the second Japanese architect to do so, after Kenzo Tange in 1987. In its citation the Pritzker jury wrote, "He is a modernist who has fused the best of both Eastern and Western cultures."

In Manhattan, Mr. Maki is also designing a 35-story expansion of the United Nations that would also allow for the renovation of the Secretariat building and supplant the Robert Moses Playground on First Avenue.

His other buildings include the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (1993), part of a large scale redevelopment in downtown San Francisco; the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan (1986); and the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (1990).

Although ground zero is viewed as something of a hornet's nest, the architects said they were undaunted. "Obviously there's a lot of politics," said Mr. Jelliffe of Foster & Partners. "But we're happy to work within those."

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page E7 of the New York edition with the headline: British Architect Picked For Ground Zero Tower. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

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