One World Trade Center and One World Observatory

One World Trade Center and One World Observatory (148)

One World Trade Center, which is 541 metres high (including antenna), is the tallest building in New York and, as such, dominates the new World Trade Center financial complex. Building started on 4 July 2004 under the name the Freedom Tower, and it was inaugurated on 3 November 2014. On the opening day, it automatically became the tallest skyscraper in New York and also the highest in the Western Hemisphere. 

The design is a combination of projects by architect Daniel Libeskind, winner of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation competition, and architect David M. Childs, who was proposed by World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein and was also the architect of 7 World Trade Center. Between them they designed the building with an asymmetrical profile and twisting sides that evoke the dynamic form of the Statue of Liberty. With a rectangular base that was identical to those of the twin towers, the structure tapers as it rises from the base and forms eight identical isosceles triangles that culminate in a square, glass parapet. The ultramodern design of One WTC is not only noticeable from the outside, but is also evident inside. Its 104 floors are free from columns, giving rise to a large open space, and the ceilings are nearly three metres high. It also incorporates the latest technology in safety, design and energy efficiency, as the top of the building is an open space designed to capture the wind and turn it into electricity using turbines. 

This is not the only thing you'll find at the top of One World Trade Center. Of course, New York would not deprive us of spectacular panoramic views from the highest point in the city. On 29 May 2015, the One World Observatory opened its doors to the public (on floors 100, 101 and 102). Since opening, this vantage point has provided stiff competition for the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller Center. Going to the top of the One World Observatory is a dizzying experience from the moment you enter the lift. During the ride, which lasts just 60 seconds, you can enjoy a time lapse projected on the walls of the lift, featuring the history of New York from 1600 to the present day. Upon reaching level 102, where you'll be able to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view, you may be surprised to find that there's no door to the exterior. This space is completely enclosed, so the reflections on the glass can prevent you from taking good photos. However, when you approach the glass you'll see some spectacular views that more than make up for any disappointment.

From the top of New York City, the city of skyscrapers seems so much smaller, as if it were a model dotted with easily distinguishable icons like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. You'll also be able to take in the Manhattan skyline with its towering skyscrapers and Jersey City on the banks of the Hudson River. 

The observatory is open every day of the year and has a fairly extensive timetable for visiting, but if you have the opportunity to visit during sunset, the visit is doubly worthwhile. There's no better way to say farewell to the day than watching the sun disappear behind the rooftops of New York and seeing the last flashes of light filtering through the windows of the observatory. Of course, if you want to experience this, it's best to book your visit in advance. The same goes for ending your evening with a bite to eat at one of the three restaurants on floor 101. Remember that dining with such views is a much sought-after experience, so if you want to make sure you get the chance, it's always best to book well in advance.

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