A new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site slopes gracefully into a spire rising 532.8m, echoing the Statue of Liberty, images released on Friday show. \nThe new plan -- which comes after months of contentious negotiations between designers Daniel Libeskind and David Childs -- retains many elements of Libeskind's original plan but appears to smooth out its most angular elements. \nAt a news conference to unveil the design, Childs said the tower must be "simple and pure in its form, a memorable form that will reclaim the resilience and the spirit of our democracy." \nNew York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the tower, which would be the world's tallest, would "dramatically reclaim a part of the New York City skyline that was lost on 9-11." \n"This is a wonderful day, not just for New York, but for the US," said Bloomberg, who appeared with the architects and George Pataki, governor of New York state, to unveil the new design. \nThe cost is estimated at US$1.5 billion, said Charles Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the public agency that owns the site. \nGargano said the Port Authority, once headquartered in the World Trade Center, plans to occupy one-third of the building's office space. The governor's Manhattan offices will also be located in the tower. \nThe plan follows the original, asymmetrical structure proposed by Libeskind, who was originally tapped as the architect to remake the area known as "ground zero" by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp, the agency charged with redevelopment. \nBut Childs, who was appointed by leaseholder Larry Silverstein, succeeded in including a lattice structure complete with energy-generating windmills at the top of the building. Childs likened the suspension elements of the new design to the Brooklyn Bridge, with the bottom of the building "torqued or twisted." \nThe building is to be put up on the northwest part of the World Trade Center site, not on the footprint of the vanished towers. \nThe plan calls for a cable suspension structure that creates an open area above the building's 70 floors of office space, and houses windmills to generate energy. The windmills could provide 20 percent of the building's energy. \nSilverstein, often a silent presence at redevelopment announcements, said he was emotionally moved by both the design and the process of creating it. \n"What we see today is, in my judgment, beautiful. It's spectacular; it is also very practical," Silverstein said. \nHe has promised to build one new skyscraper at the site each year after the expected completion of the Freedom Tower in 2009, finishing the five-building complex in 2013. \nThe new design retains an important part of Libeskind's original concept, an 82.8m spire intended to evoke the Statue of Liberty nearby in New York Harbor. \nDespite persistent reports of conflict between the two designers, Childs told NBC they had "a spectacular time working together. Creative minds have different thoughts about how you do things. I wouldn't want to work with somebody who would just say yes." \n"This represents a melding of two very, very talented, creative geniuses," Pataki said. \nNegotiations had been contentious between the two architects. Libeskind, who created the Jewish Museum in Berlin but has little experience with major commercial projects, once compared the relationship with Childs, who designed the new Time Warner building in Manhattan, to a "forced marriage." \nSeveral safety features were included in the design, such as separate staircases for firefighters and a "blast-resistant glaze" on the lobby glass.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500