WTC: The Reconstruction of a Business Center

Cynthia Davidson 

As for what should be built in place of the [World Trade Center] towers, the problem is insoluble. Quite simply because one can imagine nothing equivalent that would be worthy of being destroyed. One cannot say the same of many architectural works. Most things are not even worth sacrificing. This proposition is not as paradoxical as it sounds, and it raises a basic issue for architecture: one should build only those things which, by their excellence, are worthy of being destroyed.”

Jean Baudrillard, Requiem for the Twin Towers

What gives architecture worth? If Baudrillard is right, if worthiness is a criteria for destruction, then the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) seems to be making certain that the rebuilt WTC will not be subject to a destructive attack again. The media coverage of the struggles over control of design would suggest an awakened in-terest in architecture as a product and a symbol, but the question of worth – not of dollars, but the wor-thiness Baudrillard speaks of – goes unposed...[+]

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