Dezeen Magazine

Bjarke Ingels could replace Foster + Partners on World Trade Center tower

Danish firm BIG is reportedly in talks to redesign the final tower at the World Trade Center site, potentially ousting the original architects as part of the developer's tenancy negotiations.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Bjarke Ingels' studio is in talks with developer Larry Silverstein, who hopes to tempt 21st Century Fox and News Corps to take up office space at 2 World Trade Center.

Norman Foster's studio was originally announced as the designer of the tower in 2006 and unveiled plans for a 387-metre-tall skyscraper consisting of four interconnecting blocks linked by a central core.

The top of the structure featured a slanted roof, creating four diamond-shaped planes. It was due to complete in 2011 and foundations were built, but work was halted while Silverstein struggled to secure tenants that would make the project financially viable.

World Trade Center memorial site

According to the WSJ, the redesign is necessary to include space suitable for studios on the lower floors – replacing the bank trading floors of the previous version, which was targeted at financial businesses.

Ingels' skyscraper, which would be the final project on the World Trade Center site, will share a similar height and offer roughly the same amount of floor space as the previous Foster design.

But the recent appointment of BIG, alongside London-based designer Thomas Heatherwick, as architect of the new Google campus in California will bring added cachet to the World Trade Center project.

Media giant News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal, currently houses its New York offices in a building on the Avenue of the Americas, but its lease will expire in 2020. News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is also CEO of film company 20th Century Fox. The two businesses would occupy roughly half of the tower.

Ingels has a rapidly growing business in the US, where the relatively young architect is regarded as an "avant-garde" designer.

As well as winning the Google HQ, BIG has recently landed the job of delivering the $2 billion masterplan for the Smithsonian Institute's campus in Washington DC and was awarded $335 million to upgrade storm defences around Lower Manhattan.

A triangle-shaped housing project on New York's West 57th Street, one of Ingels' first major projects in America, is also approaching completion.

One World Trade Center, the first completed skyscraper of the five planned for the site, was designed by American firm SOM and completed last year. It was named the world's most expensive skyscraper in December 2014.

A memorial museum dedicated to the attack that destroyed the World Trade Center's original twin towers in 2001 also opened last year with an entrance pavilion by Scandinavian architects Snøhetta.

BIG declined to comment on the World Trade Center project, while Foster + Partners did not respond to Dezeen's request.