the first of the world trade center (WTC) towers, ‘4 world trade center’ by japanese architect fumihiko maki (maki and associates), has opened. situated at 150 greenwich street in manhattan, the 72-storey building has been conceived to have a dignified, but unassuming presence along the new york city skyline; with an exterior skin of floor-to-ceiling ultra-clear glass which allows sunlight to flood the interior, and which naturally reflect its surroundings. structurally, ‘4 WTC’ features column-free corners, and 80-foot perimeter column spans, which further increase the amount of natural light, while also offering uninterrupted views of the cityscape from every window. on the exterior, ‘4 WTC’ is defined by two glass obtuse edges on the southwest and northeast corners, articulated by dramatic indentation which make them appear slender and sharp.

4 world trade center by fumihiko maki opens
4 WTC as of september 1, 2013
image by joe woolhead | image courtesy of silverstein properties (also main image)



the four corners of ‘4 WTC’ each lie at varying topographic elevations which results in a 12-foot difference diagonally across the site–from the high point on the corner of church and cortlandt streets, to the lowest point on the corner of greenwich and liberty streets. to ensure that it can be approached with comfort, the street fronts of all four sides are inclined, creating spatial relationship with the surrounding environment.

4 world trade center by fumihiko maki opens
4 WTC as of august 1, 2013
photo by joe woolhead | image courtesy of silverstein properties



part of the grander WTC masterplan headed by daniel libeskind, maki’s tower is the fourth tallest of the five structures proposed for the site. it has been conceived with the primary function of offering more than 1.5 million square feet of office space in addition to retail areas, designed with open and efficient floor plates, allowing tenants to easily organize the most ideal work environment. because of its position directly facing towards the world trade center memorial park, maki and associates have realized the tower with accessibility and pedestrian circulation in mind. this is expressed through the building’s podium (from floors 1 to 3) that responds to the characteristics of each of the adjacent streets; set back from all corners so that a more expanded public area is available along the sidewalk, delivered in the form of a small entry plaza. each of the corners provide either an entrance to the office lobby or to retail and the transit hall–from which almost every city subway can be accessed.



project info:


location: new york, united states
completion date:
building type:
office, retail
structural system
: steel, reinforced concrete
number of floors:
61 stories
site area:
building area:
total floor area:
1,800,000sf (office), 160,000sf (retail)
architect of record:
adamson associates architects
structural engineer:
leslie e. robertson associates
mechanical / electrical engineer:
jaros baum & bolles consulting engineer