Yesterday Condé Nast began the graduated process of relocating its 3,200 New York-based employees into One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, becoming the first major tenant to occupy the tower. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) with engineers WSP as part of the original masterplan by Studio Daniel Libeskind, the 1,776ft-high commercial tower encompasses 104 floors, 24 of which will be occupied by Condé Nast.
In February 2014, Capital published a memo from Condé Nast CEO Charles Townsend which confirmed that the new offices will incorporate ‘the most innovative elements of energy and environmental design [and] advanced office technology’.
The firm has taken floors 20 to 44 with corporate elements occupying the first five and top three floors. Branding departments will be located predominantly on floors 25-33 and 36-41, and floors 34 and 35 will offer ‘remarkable amenity floors…connected by an extraordinary interior spiral staircase’.
Condé Nast was previously located at the FXFOWLE-designed 4 Times Square which incorporated a glittering 260-seat cafeteria by Frank Gehry, with blue titanium walls and a raised seating platform encased in curved glass panels.
Speaking to The New York Times, Townsend said of the new offices in One World Trade Center: “It’s not about a Gehry design. It’s about the views. It’s at least 15 percent more efficient, which means a great deal of open space. This is an evolutionary step away from 4 Times Square, where there was still a great deal of individualism expressed.”
Work began on One World Trade Center in 2006 as the first office tower on the plot to embark upon construction. A series of tumultuous years followed with monetary and security disputes, alongside issues with the chosen building materials. The final sections of 22-tonne spire were raised to the building summit in May 2013, cementing its position as the tallest tower in America.
Thirteen years after the twin towers fell, the site now plays host to a functioning Transit Concourse, the highly acclaimed Reflecting Pools, and the newly-opened 9/11 Memorial Museum. The Maki & Associates-designed 4 World Trade Center opened almost a year ago and now tenants can begin to filter into One World Trade Center.
In celebration of this landmark moment in the One World Trade Center journey, SOM has initiated a public photo contest - the first of its kind for the practice. Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit their original photographs of the tower through Instagram or email. The winner will receive a one-of-a-kind scale model of the tower, handcrafted by the firm's model shop in Manhattan, as well as a limited-edition print of One World Trade Center, taken by renowned photographer James Ewing.
The contest begins 3 November 2014 and ends on 3 December 3 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. One winner will be announced on or around 10 December, 2014. To enter, contest participants must post their original photo of One World Trade Center to Instagram and caption the image with both #WelcomeOneWTC and @SkidmoreOwingsMerrill. Alternatively, submissions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If emailed, attachments must not exceed 10 megabytes in size. Full contest rules are available here.