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Rebuilding Confidence: The Design, Safety, and Security of One World Trade Center

Photo © James Ewing | OTTO

Source: Architect Magazine

Just how safe is One World Trade Center, the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere and the centerpiece of commercial development at ground zero? Safe enough that it's serving as a model for future high-rise construction.


One World Trade Center embodies a massive design effort led by the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with key contributions from global engineering firm WSP and myriad consultants, manufacturers, and contractors. Much of its robust anatomy can be traced to forensic analyses of how the building systems of the South and North Towers of the original World Trade Center performed during the frenetic 56 minutes and 102 minutes, respectively, between when they were hit and when they fell. In the face of the incalculable emotional toll, building experts focused on the things that could be calculated, such as the ways future skyscrapers could better protect occupants and emergency responders in the face of disaster.

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