A New Look For Ground Zero

In the latest sign of a new beginning at New York's Ground Zero, this week officials unveiled plans for three soaring skyscrapers to complement the centerpiece Freedom Tower.

World-famous architects Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Fumihiko Maki designed the buildings, which will be sharing the space with the creation of yet another superstar of architecture: Santiago Calatrava.

As of now, there is only an animation to show how the futuristic new World Trade Center Transportation Hub will look, but work has already started on the $2 billion structure. At last year's groundbreaking ceremony you could hear the thrill in the voices of public officials as they described the first time architect Calatrava showed them the design for the building, reports Sunday Morning correspondent Rita Braver.

"Vitality, hope and freedom are just what this station will convey to the tens of thousands of people who will pass thru it every single day," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Indeed, Bloomberg has reason to be proud that his city will have a building by the Spanish-born Calatrava. He's one of the hottest architects in the world right now and designed the Olympic sports complex in Athens, an opera house on Spain's Canary Islands and a proposal for a Chicago skyscraper which would be the tallest building in North America.

"I think architecture can also transmit — or an artist can transmit — a sense of hope, a sense of belief in the future," he says.

To Calatrava, no building better expresses that belief in the future than one of his favorite landmarks: New York's Grand Central Terminal, constructed at the turn of the last century.

They was thinking, you know, [this] building will survive us and stay there as a testimony of this what we mean, you know, for the next generation," he said.

Calatrava also believes that what makes structures like this great is that they are both functional and beautiful and that people feel like they relate to them. In fact, his buildings are often based on studies of the human body. For example, an eye inspires a planetarium in his native Valencia and an athlete morphs into an abstract design and later into this communications tower in Barcelona.
  • Caitlin Johnson

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