Today, New York City will cut the ribbon on 4 World Trade Center, making it the very first tower at the 16-acre WTC site to open its doors. Extending 977 feet into the sky, the new LEED Gold-hopeful building will mark the beginning of the rebirth of Lower Manhattan 12 years after 9/11. Although the new tower, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, hasn’t garnered as much attention as 1 WTC, its striking, asymmetrical form has an eye-catching appeal that rivals that of its famous neighbor.
On the ground floor of the building, Maki created a black granite lobby to reflect the somber character of the 9/11 memorial outside. Deeper inside 4 World Trade Center’s entrance, there are three interactive walls that feature videos of waterfalls, the sky and trees to continue the artistic theme of the building.
But the building’s most impressive feature is not inside of it. 4 WTC’s 57th-floor terrace offers completely open panoramic views of Manhattan, western Queens and eastern New Jersey. Unfortunately, 4 World Trade Center is a commercial building that won’t be open to the public except for the terrace, which the developer is renting out for events. Meanwhile, the Freedom Tower is expected to take its place as the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere soon, and 3 World Trade Center is only beginning to get off the ground and will be completed by 2016.