Untapped Cities recently had the opportunity to tour the construction of 3 World Trade Center, the latest building that will open at the World Trade Center. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the firm of starchitect Richard Rogers, 3 WTC is scheduled to open later this year. For our visit, we walked around with Sean Johnson from Silverstein Properties, accessing the roof by first taking the external elevator lift which was attached to the outside of the building!

1. 3 WTC Will Be Built with 27,000 Tons of Steel

Unlike the other World Trade Center buildings so far, 3 WTC is designed to allow for its load-sharing structural system to be visible. The steel, diamond shaped bracing goes from the lower outdoor terrace to the top of the north and south facades. This bracing system helps “articulate the building’s east-west-configuration,” according to the designers and allow for 360-degree panoramic views of New York without any obstructions on the floors. 

3 WTC will also be built with 145K yards of concrete!

2. 3 WTC will be the 5th Tallest Building in NYC

The 80 story building reaches a height of 1,079 feet, making it the tallest building so far in the World Trade Center complex except for 1 WTC. This means it will have some incredible views. Here are some shots we took from the roof looking down!

3. Water is Supplied via Two Wooden Water Tower on the Roof

No matter how much building technology progresses, one of the mainstays for water delivery remains the wooden water tower. 3 WTC is no exception, with two water towers on its roof! The street water mains can generally push water about 60 feet up (or about six floors) from the ground. At 3 WTC, like in other tall buildings, an additional water pump system further sends water to the top, in this case, from a mechanical room on the 18th floor.

4. 3 WTC Has a Custom Made Window Washing Device

Up on the roof of 3 WTC, a large robotic looking device is there just for window washing and maintenance on the 80- story building. The device is several stories tall and is custom made by Gind, a Spanish company focused on building maintenance systems. Imagine yourself being hoisted over the top in the carriage!

The machine sits on a track that encircles the roof, which allows it to be deployed on any facade. On our visit, a smaller window machine was located on the lower terrace, which will be partially open to the public.

5. 3 WTC has the tallest outdoor terrace in Lower Manhattan on the 76th floor

At 934 feet above street level, the 76th floor terrace will be the tallest outdoor terrace in Lower Manhattan. It’s 5,300 square feet in size, but won’t be accessible to the public – just to the lucky employees who will work there. A higher terrace in New York City can be found at the Empire State building, whose 86th floor terrace is 1,050 feet up.

6. A New Pedestrian Street Will be Completed with the Construction of 3 WTC

One of the lesser-discussed improvements that have come from the reconstruction of the World Trade Center complex is the reconnection of the street grid – which was obliterated by the superblock of the original WTC. With earlier construction, Greenwich Street was reconnected and Fulton Street extended. With the completion of 3 WTC, two new pedestrian passageways will be created. One will be on the southside between 3 WTC and 4 WTC, is called Cortlandt Way. And on the north side, visitors will be able to walk on what is known as South Plaza, between 3 WTC and the Calatrava transportation hub.

7. 3 WTC Will Have Digital Wayfinding in its Staircases and Hallways

3 WTC is possibly the first building to make use of a new innovation: digital wayfinding screens both in the stairwells and in the hallways to help people orient themselves. Given that there’s 2.5 million rentable square feet of space in 3 WTC, it’s probably going to be helpful! The anchor tenant at 3 WTC will be the advertising firm GroupM, which will take 700,000 square feet on 14 floors.

8. 3 WTC is the First Building in the World to have an Annealed Glass Exterior

3 WTC will be built with 10,000 annealed glass panels, meaning when the glass is is cooled slowly to reduce internal stress. It’s particularly important for security reasons, as annealed glass won’t break into shards when broken. 3 WTC will be the first skyscraper built with this type of glass.

9. 3 WTC is the Only Building in the World with a Three-Sided Cable Net Wall

Cable-net walls enable a building to focus on the transparency of the glass, minimizing the need for visible structural elements. 3 WTC will be the first building to have a three-sided cable net wall, which you will be able to see on the ground floor of the building. The lobby itself will be 62 feet high, surrounded by 150,000 feet of retail.

We got to see how the cables will connect into the building, below the floor.

10. The Trees Coming to Cortlandt Way

The trees that will be planted on Cortlandt Way are coming, roots and all, from another state. Large pits have been dug into the plaza to accommodate the Thornless Honey Locust trees (Gleditsia tricanthos inermis).

Next, discover the Top 10 Secrets of the 9/11 Memorial.