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It's Official: Ground Zero Design Study Underway, and Architects and Planners Around the World Are (finally) Invited

People spoke, and the powers-that-be listened (what took them so long?).

by ArchNewsNow
August 15, 2002

It’s time to dust off all those great ideas languishing in “idea” folders everywhere. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is issuing an invitation to architects and planners everywhere to participate in design study regarding the future of the World Trade Center site and surrounding areas. The Request for Qualifications will be available on the LMDC Web site,, beginning Monday, August 19, and there will be ads running in newspapers worldwide.


Participants will have to be quick, though — the deadline for responses to the RFQ is September 16.


The study is open to licensed architects and professional planners and landscape architects worldwide. Selection criteria includes quality of work product in past projects; innovative and outstanding work that demonstrates unique qualifications; and additional criteria to be developed. (The original criteria included millions of square feet of completed projects and a raft of other requirements that eliminated any number of talented firms.)


New York New Visions, a coalition of 21 architecture, engineering, planning, landscape architecture and design organizations, will advise LMDC in selecting up to five teams to prepare additional concept plans for the next phase of the planning process.


Well over 10,000 suggestions have been made to the LMDC via e-mail, through Listening To The City town hall forums, and comments by visitors to the exhibit of the original preliminary plans by Beyer Blinder Belle at Federal Hall. Public input indicates a strong desire for an inclusive planning process, as well as consensus around key goals for rebuilding. New program directives include: Distinctive Skyline; Preference for Recognition of the Tower Footprints; Commercial and Retail Space; Grand Promenade on West Street; New Street Grid; and Residential Housing (among others).


Up to five teams will be selected on September 30. The design study concludes in mid-November and by the end of November, all teams must submit final content and presentation materials.


LMDC/Port Authority planning staff and consultants, including Beyer Blinder Belle and Peterson Littenberg, will continue to explore varied approaches to the World Trade Center site based on the new program alternatives. All work will be ready for public review by the end of the calendar year, completing the second phase in the three-phase planning process.



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