Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Book Review: Imagining Ground Zero
Author: Suzanne Stephens

Publisher: Rizzoli, 2008

Hardcover:   226 pages

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0-847-82657-5

Reviewer: Jan Klerks, CTBUH Communications Manager/Journal Editor

Imagining Ground Zero presents the commissioned, unofficial and unrequested designs for the new World Trade Center. As such, it offers the official proposals, the five schemes considered by the city and other groups involved in the decision. It also features press generated proposals, independent submissions and some 120 ideas which were generated through an invitational exhibition organized by New York dealer in architecture and art, Max Protetch. In addition to the great number of ideas, the book shows that the World Trade Center has generated an unprecedented amount of architectural activities and speculations. The scope of responses to the question, “How such a difficult site could be rebuilt?” and “How the events should be translated into architecture?” is fascinating. But as an overview of ideas, it also captures the early 2000s as a design period in which computer aided design influenced architecture, enabling the imagination of shapes and designs which previously had not been possible.