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Freedom Tower design unveiled

NEW YORK: Simpler design meant to evoke New York's classic skyscrapers has been unveiled for the Freedom Tower, the signature building planned to rise from the site of the World Trade Centre, destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 2001. The latest version of the tower will be sturdier than the two previous designs, set on an impregnable concrete and steel pedestal. The architect, David Childs, has stripped away the wind turbines, the parallelogram floor plan, the lattice of suspension cables and the off-centre spire from his previous design. Instead, a central spire rising from a circular support ring is intended to recall the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in midtown Manhattan, as well as being a nod to Lady Liberty's torch. At night, it will be lit up. Mr. Childs said the building would be ``in the tradition of great New York City icons.'' The height of the tower, at 1,776 ft, is virtually the only element that has survived from the original blueprint by the architect Daniel Libeskind. The patriotic height, which would make it the tallest building in the world, is a reference to the declaration of independence. Mr. Childs told the New York Times that the building ``subtly recalls, in the sky, the tragedy that has happened here.'' The architects were sent back to the drawing board after safety concerns were raised by police, particularly about the building's vulnerability to car or lorry bombs. —

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

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