Owner Silverstein Properties
Lead Design Firm Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners
General Contractor AECOM Tishman
Civil Engineer Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer WSP Cantor Seinuk
MEP Engineer Jaros Baum & Bolles
Executive Architect Adamson Associates International

During a visit to the 76th floor of 3 World Trade Center, project team members showed ENR how there are places for eight corner offices, rather than the usual four per story.

AECOM Tishman Executive Vice President Thomas Leo and Silverstein Properties Senior Vice President Sean Johnson say that’s because all four corners and each floor plate of the 1,079-ft-tall tower are column-free, creating an open environment where each level brags 360° views of the city. It’s one of many examples of innovative engineering that impressed the Best Projects judges.

The most obvious feature to a casual onlooker embodies both beauty and brawn: an exterior bracing system to support the columnless design that creates geometric shapes extending from the lower outdoor terrace to the top of the north and south facades.

These and the rest of the structure have a skin made of 10,000 glass panels—making 3 World Trade the first building in the world to have an exterior of annealed glass, which won’t shatter into shards if broken, the team claims.

A reinforced 3-ft-thick concrete core works together with the steel perimeter to achieve unobstructed views and column-free design. The core also doubles as shelter for emergency stairways, elevator shafts, and electrical, communication and plumbing lines.

Extensive use of building information modeling helped the team avoid costly change orders in the field. And because of the tight site, the team used a WOLFFKRAN crane and a computer system that simplifies settings, the first use of the German equipment in New York City.

Another global first: The building is the first with a three-sided cable net wall, which lets the maximum amount of light into the 64-ft-tall lobby area. Beyond the lobby are 2.5 million sq ft of rentable office space and 216,000 sq ft of retail space.

ENR's Best of the Best Projects 2018