Norwegian Snøhetta wins praise for Ground Zero plans
Noted Norwegian architect firm Snøhetta unveiled its design for the Cultural Center to be built at the site of the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on Manhattan, and their vision met with lavish praise. "Snøhetta has designed an airy, light and optimistic building. It has become a fine project that supports the whole idea behind my master plan," said chief architect for Ground Zero, Daniel Liebeskind, to Aftenposten. "Snøhetta's architecture shows understanding and great respect for how sensitive an area Ground Zero is," said NY mayor Michael Bloomberg. The planned cultural center at the World Trade Center site will house a visual arts area devoted to drawing, a visitor's hub and a center focusing on the global struggle for freedom, according to plans unveiled Thursday. The model, a transparent crystalline structure, will act as a prism, capture the shifting daylight and be as easy to see out of as in. The Cultural Center will house the International Freedom Museum, an information center for Ground Zero and an art gallery, The Drawing Center. Groundbreaking for the cultural center is scheduled for 2007 with completion in 2009. Snøhetta was chosen from 34 applicants and is best known for the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin and the soon-to-be-completed New National Opera in Oslo.