Milestone of an Icon: Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of 3 World Trade Center

New York City’s fifth-tallest tower and a model of transparency and sustainability, 3 World Trade Center sits centrally within the new ensemble of five towers as they cascade down in height southward away from One World Trade Center. Since the ribbon-cutting ceremony one year ago, 3WTC has become a flourishing destination for leading companies, and a new hub for commercial activity.

In June 2018, Metro US asked for thoughts on the tower’s opening and legacy.

‘“I think of the fact that we’ve replaced the New York skyline after 9/11, which desperately needed replacing,” Larry Silverstein said. “At the end of the day, I look out now, and it makes me pretty happy… if you consider what’s transpired here the past 17 years, I can’t help but relish in the satisfaction in seeing most of this come together and be complete.”

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Photo: Silverstein Properties ©2018

Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Richard Rogers and his firm Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners, the impressive 80-floor tower features 30,000-to-70,000-square-foot floors and 13-to-24-foot ceilings, with immense unobstructed 360-degree panoramic views of New York City’s breathtaking skyline. Just one year after opening, 3WTC’s 2.5 million square feet of office space is home to such as WPP/GroupM, Diageo, Casper, Hudson River Trading, Better.com, IEX and more.

The soaring lobby provides direct in-building access to 12 subways and adjacent retail complex. All four corners and every floor plate are column-free to create a communal environment that lets in both natural light and view of the outdoor cityscape. The walls are clad in floor-to-ceiling laminated glass by McGrory, with a SEFAR® VISION fabric interlayer. The panels’ material creates an ethereal sheen that both diffuses and reflects the light entering the structure.

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Photo: Silverstein Properties ©2018

Kevin Madara, Senior Project Manager at McGrory Glass, oversaw the fabrication and delivery of the lobby’s cladding. 12 months later, he still remembers every detail of the stunning – and intense – project.

“Silverstein Properties’ Vice President Michiko Ashida, the glazing contractor Permasteelisa North America, and the general contractor Tishman Construction Corp met in our facility, and together we reviewed every piece before it left our onsite shop,” he says. “We produced over 400 panels, totaling 17,000 square feet. They were double stacked in the lobby with the bottom panel at 10 feet tall and top panel  at 9 ½ feet tall.”

Richard Paul, Partner at Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners, also visited McGrory’s Paulsboro, NJ-based headquarters to offer final approval on the glass panels based on a full-size mockup constructed in the company’s showroom. That meant Kevin personally reviewed every panel post-lamination prior to that visit.

“Fabricating glass with an encapsulated material across a large square footage can be tricky. Consistency is key. I literally picked up every individual panel with one of our warehouse managers to make sure they were thoroughly inspected,” Kevin says. “Seeing the impact of the finished lobby was more than worth it – it’s jaw dropping.”

One year later, 3WTC is seeing more admiring glances than ever, thanks to Downtown’s brand new transit hubs—The Oculus and Fulton Center. In that, it’s fulfilling the intent behind its design.

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Photo: Silverstein Properties ©2018

Right before the opening, The Architectural Digest asked Richard Rogers what he considered exceptional about the building.

“It’s that it’s a public space,” he replied. “Its public space is exceptional. You usually take one building and it’s crowned with other buildings all around. Here, you’re standing in a park, and you’re pretty central in the park. And the views out will be quite stunning.”

2019 couldn’t agree more.

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