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Old Posted Nov 24, 2010, 3:50 AM
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Amanita Amanita is offline
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I beg to differ. From what I've read, Yamasaki did the best he could, to fit the requirements of the Port Authority's "program"- 10 million square feet of space in 16 acres of land. Yamasaki was used to much smaller, daintier buildings, and the WTC project pushed him waaay out of his comfort zone. However, he really did try, coming up with countless mock-ups before drawing a single page of blueprints. One single 150 story tower was simply too overwhelming. A cluster of shorter towers looked too much like a housing project. Two seemed to be the best fit, not being as overwhelming as the single tower, and leaving the site far less crowded than a cluster of short towers. As for their architectural styling, the architectural world was in a state of change at the time, and as I said, Yamasaki had never done anything remotely close to the scale of the WTC before. It's said that he may have been inspired by the Kaaba (sp?) in Mecca- the cube-in-open square concept, and the Twin Tower's pointed arches and roofline traceries have been likened to Islamic or moorish architecture as well as Gothic. He originally planned an even more elaborate design for the tower's facades, but scaled it back in response to critics enamoured of the stripped-down modernist style, who lambasted his use of ornament.

As for the Roth firm, they were not known for an aesthetic approach to architecture, focusing on efficiency- efficiency of floorplan, mechanical systems, elevators, and so forth, to make buildings that were economically successful. Richard Roth admitted as much in an essay "High-rise down to earth", where he stated that his firm produced functional, profitable buildings, not "monuments to posterity".
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