World Trade Center Master Plan

New York, NY


In 2002, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced a competition for a master plan to develop the 16 acres in Lower Manhattan destroyed by the terrorist attack of 9/11. Studio Libeskind’s design, “Memory Foundations,” won the commission.

In designing the master site plan, Daniel Libeskind worked closely with all the stakeholders, knowing that it was fundamental to balance the memory of the tragedy with the need to foster a vibrant and working neighborhood. In the end, he devoted half of the 16-acre site to public space, defined by the Memorial and the Memorial Museum, while also setting aside locations for sustainable, high-tech office towers, re-connecting the historic street-grid, reinvigorating the streetscape with above-ground retail, reshaping the underground transit concourses and even finding room for two major new public facilities: an iconic new transportation station and a performing arts center.

The results are becoming visible with the opening of a 200-foot stretch of street and sidewalk on Greenwich Street, which hasn’t existed since the 1960s. The Memorial Museum opened in spring 2014, with underground galleries that reveal the slurry wall that withstood the terrorist attack and will forever remain as a testament to the strength of America’s foundations.  One World Trade will open in early 2015 with the symbolic height of 1,776 feet.  The Transportation Hub is well under way and can be seen from all points in the site.

Studio Libeskind has been coordinating with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, City of New York, and the architects of the individual buildings to realize the master plan.

“Daniel Libeskind’s proposal represents a search for secure foundations in a time when they are both literally and figuratively crumbling. Digging deep below the surface of the site, he uncovers what he takes to be the bedrock, which grounds buildings and, more important, human aspiration. Far from a crypt, this is a place for worship and reflection reminiscent of ancient catacombs.” –New York Times (December 2002)

“Though all the new Ground Zero proposals in one way or another demarcate the footprints of the Twin Towers, Libeskind’s design is by far the most dramatic evocation of the disaster. It is easy to see why it struck such a resonant chord among the victims’ families.” – Martin Filler, The New Republic (February 2003)


2012 AIA National Service Medal, 2004 Best of New York Award, for the “Building of New York” Hosted by the New York City College of Technology Foundation

2004 – Best of New York Award, for the ‘Building of New York’, hosted by the New York City College of Technology Foundation, New York