Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX was selected last Friday to design a new performing arts center for the World Trade Center site (PACWTC). Led by Joshua Prince-Ramus, a former protégé of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the firm will replace Frank Gehry’s controversial stacked-box design. The PACWTC committee chose REX over finalists Henning Larsen and UNStudio.


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REX was tapped in part because of their extensive work on performing arts buildings, including the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater in Dallas and the Vakko Fashion Center in Istanbul. Compared to the previous design by Gehry, REX’s 80,000-square mixed-use cultural center will have a significantly smaller footprint due to a new $200 million budget—about half of the original estimated cost. Once complete, the building will serve as the home of the annual Tribeca Film Festival.

Related: Plans for Frank Gehry-Designed WTC Performing Arts Center Are Looking Bleak

“We wanted to create something that is simple, elegant and timeless,” Mr. Prince-Ramus said of the performing arts center to the New York Times. “We’ve been able to reduce the project to the essence of what it needs to be.” In a conversation with the Wall Street Journal, PACTWC director Maggie Boepple said that the building will be clad in a semitransparent facade and comprise multiple theaters that can be flexibly configured. Designs will be unveiled next spring and the project is scheduled to open in 2019.

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Images via Wikimedia