Two firms selected from 68 to design cultural complexes at WTC site
Gehry Partners LLP and Snøhetta have been selected to design the performing arts complex and museum complex, respectively, on the World Trade Center site. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) made the announcement on Tuesday, October 12.
The cultural center will be comprised of two buildings incorporating dance, theatre, museum, and fine arts facilities. Gehry will design the performing arts complex, which includes the Joyce Theater International Dance Center as well as the Signature Theatre Center. Snøhetta will design the museum complex, which will house the Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center.
"It is very exciting to see such important institutions begin to take shape on the World Trade Center site by putting their new homes in the hands of such outstanding, talented architects," LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said in a statement.
The winning firms were selected by two evaluation panels, one judging for the performing arts complex and the other for the museum complex. In total, 68 proposals were submitted for the complexes.
Gehry Partners LLP, headed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, has designed and constructed many academic, fine arts, and commercial properties all over the world, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain. The Joyce International Dance Center will be Gehry's first theater devoted to dance.
"We are thrilled to be working with Frank Gehry, one of the most renowned architects in the world," said Linda Shelton, executive director of The Joyce Theater Foundation, in a statement. "His sensitivity to the site will ensure that the building is a beautiful symbol of the importance and the healing power of the arts."
Snøhetta, founded in 1989 by Craig Dykers and Kjetil Thorsen, has designed a variety of structures, including bridges, parks, commercial properties, and museums. Some of the firm's well-known projects include the Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin. Still awaiting completion are the New Norwegian National Opera in Oslo and the Turner Contemporary in England. The award-winning firm is based in Oslo, Norway.
|Norweigan firm Snøhetta is one of two firms chosen
"This important place carries with it the power of its history and a new hope for the future," Dykers and Thorsen said in a statement. "It is a place that must convey the memories and dreams of all those around the world that are affected by its presence without forgetting its intimate connection with the people of New York and the surrounding city."
Both firms' schematic designs for the complex are expected to be unveiled in early 2005.
The Museum Complex
The Drawing Center: Currently located in Soho, the Drawing Center is the country's only non-profit, fine arts institution to focus on the exhibition of drawings, both historical and contemporary. It was established in 1977 to provide opportunities for emerging and under-recognized artists as well as to stimulate public dialogue on the issues of art and culture. The center offers exhibition programs, scholarly publications, public forums, and artists' services.
The International Freedom Center: It is a new organization created specifically for the World Trade Center site that will include exhibitions on humanity's enduring quest for freedom. Over the past two years, many scholars, museum directors, and cultural leaders came together to create a vision for the project. At its core, the Freedom Center is an educational resource for humankind. The facility will include exhibit space, classrooms, and a multi-purpose presentation space.
The Performing Arts Complex
The Joyce International Dance Center: Founded in 1982, the Joyce Theater Foundation is an established presenter of international dance companies. Currently, the Joyce oversees two of New York's leading dance venues: The Joyce Theater, a 472-seat theater in Chelsea, and Joyce SoHo, a dance center in Lower Manhattan that offers dance studios for rehearsals and performances. The upcoming Joyce Theater project is expected to seat about 1,000 people and to hold performances from approximately 30 international dance companies.
The Signature Theatre Center: Since its founding in 1991, the Signature Theatre Company has championed season-long explorations of a single living playwright's body of work. Each season engages a new playwright-in-residence in every aspect of the creative process, allowing insight into the playwright's work and achievements. The Signature's new home at the World Trade Center site will consist of a three-theatre complex. The facility's space will offer ongoing activities including lectures and staged readings.