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It ain't over

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And talking of the Ground Zero replacement, I note a very considered piece in the New Yorker by Paul Goldberger, who describes in detail the internecine struggles that have been taking place not just over the tower but also the memorial by Michael Arad and landscaper Peter Walker. Goldberger asks whether Daniel Libeskind is 'a masochist or simply more of a politician than the politicians?' This is because, having won the master-planning competition, much of the Libeskind conception has been changed or dropped by other designers and clients involved. His tower has changed dramatically courtesy of SOM's David Childs;

a new transport terminal by Santiago Calatrava both changes and incorporates Libeskind ideas; and the memorial designers ignore his thoughts about exposing the foundations of the World Trade Centre buildings, instead marking the tower footprints with reflecting pools. At the very least, Libeskind should get a building on the site, somewhere. But with the way everything is being organised, with different clients and juries, that is no certainty. This may be why he keeps turning up at the launch events for these various projects, looking like a cheery team player.

Goldberger's verdict on the Freedom Tower itself, by the way: 'It is an unnatural hybrid made up of the work of two architects, each of whom believed he had the right to design the building himself.'

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