One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the United States. It is a part of the World Trade Center complex. The building was originally constructed during the 1970s. It was later destroyed during the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Following these attacks, a new building with the same name was constructed at the same location. This new building is taller and features a more modern architectural design.
The original building of the One World Trade Center was constructed in the 1970s. It was conceived as a part of the World Trade Center complex, with another twin building that was almost the same size and height as the One World Trade Center. At the time of its construction, the One World Trade Center held the distinction of being the tallest building in the world. However, it lost this distinction to Sears Tower in 1973.
The total height of the original building stood at around 1350 feet, or 410 meters. It occupied an area of 1 acre. At the time of the construction of the building, modern design and architectural techniques were used. It had a total of 110 stories. At the time, this was the largest number of stories in any building around the world. The record for the highest number of stories was not surpassed until Burj Khalifa was constructed in 2010 with a total of 163 floors.
The interior of the building featured open office spaces with minimum obstruction. The building also featured an elaborate elevator system, together with sky lobbies to allow for rapid movement between different floors. In 1978, a 360-feet antenna was added at the top of the One World Trade Center. With this new addition, the building’s total height became 1728 feet or 527 meters.
On September 11, 2011, terrorists belonging to Al-Qaeda hijacked two American passenger planes. These planes were crashed into the One World Trade Center and its twin building, the South Tower. The North Tower, or the One WTC building, was hit between the 93rd and 99th floors.
The building caught fire after being hit by the airplane. All the people trapped at or above the point of impact died. After being hit, the North Tower burnt for nearly an hour and a half before finally collapsing. Nearly 1300 people died in the North Tower or the One World Trade Center building during the terrorist attack.
Soon after the 2001 terrorist attacks and the destruction of original One WTC building, proposals came forward to rebuild the tower in the very same location. The public also demanded the reconstruction of the building as a symbol of defiance to the terrorists. The first phase of the construction involved the actual design of the building.
To determine the design for the new One WTC, the authorities held a design contest in 2002. The results of this contest were rejected by the public so that a second design competition was held in December, 2002. Daniel Libeskind was among the many entrants who submitted their designs and he won the contest.
However, the actual design he had submitted underwent significant changes due to the objections of the developer and other stakeholders. The design was also changed many times to reflect security concerns. For instance, the developer of the building reduced the number of floors of the building in order to mitigate damage in the event of a future terrorist attack.
Although Daniel Libeskind provided the original and finalized design for the building, most of his design was changed in the final architecture of the building. The final architecture of the building features 8 stunning isosceles triangles, with half of them tapering from a wide base to top and the other half tapering in reverse.
The base of the building covers an area of 40,000 square feet. In all, it has 94 floors above ground with another 5 floors below the ground level. The total height of the building is 1776 feet or 541 meters. The total height is the same as the year of American Independence, a deliberate historic reference. Currently, the building holds the record for being the tallest building in North America.
The new One World Trade Center building was completed in 2014. Around $4 billion were spent in the construction of the building which took several years. In 2014, the building was officially opened to new tenants and the first tenants started moving into the building by November, 2014.
A notable feature of the WTC tower is the observation deck. This is located on the 100 to 102 floors of the building. The deck is specifically meant for tourists and visitors who can go up to the observation deck through special entrances. The observation space is provided on the 100th floor while other amenities for the visitors are available in the 101st and 102nd floors.
Visitors have to purchase a $32 ticket as admission fee. The original One WTC building had a famous restaurant, Windows on the World, and a winery at the top floors. Although there were plans to reinstate these locations at the new building, these plans were later discarded to much public criticism.
Given the destruction of the original One WTC building, security remains a key concern with the new WTC building. The building has a windowless concrete base of around 185 feet. This solid base is designed to be protect against any ground attacks and terrorist attempts. To make this concrete base more appealing, steel panels and blasted glass is used together with illuminating lights. The stairwells in the new building are particularly designed to withstand significant impact.
Other security features include a large number of CCTV cameras to monitor the people entering and leaving the building. Despite the extensive security features, many adventurists have been successful in venturing to the top of the tower and even base-jump from the top.