Essay on Architecture of the New Capitalist Society

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Architecture of the New Capitalist Society

Daniel Libeskind’s winning design for the new World Trade Center takes a sentimental and metaphorical approach. He claims that the completed WTC would become the representation of America’s belief in humanity, its need for individual dignity, and its beliefs in the cooperation of human. Libeskind’s original design focused on restoring the spiritual peak to the New York City and creating an icon that speaks of America’s vitality in the face of danger and her optimism in the aftermath of tragedy. The design considered the city’s neighborhood and residents, rather than simply the economic demands of the commissioners. However, Libeskind’s revised plan that revealed in September
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In the case of twenty-first century society, architecture has successfully documented the compelling forces that drive our society to change: the rapidly changing technologies, the changing political institution, the internal need to improve performance and competitive situation, and the market forces. Nevertheless, the architecture of the new capitalist society has also documented the traces of the impact of capitalism on the architectural design and practice. In the twenty-first century’s capitalist society, architecture’s once privileged cultural position has been diminished. As part of a consumerist culture, where ideas, objects, and images are commoditized, architecture’s role has gradually been converted into a tool for the merchandising of space. Architecture once shapes the society is now shaped by the new capitalist society.


Compared to Daniel Libeskind’s original vision of the World Trade Center, the most dramatic change in the revised plan is the more slender office towers. It was done to reduce density and to provide more open space and fewer physical obstacles. More importantly, the slimmer and taller office buildings with smaller cores, will allow for more retail space in adjacent areas. It is obvious that “the quest for profitability” boils down to be the rationale behind this revision.

We are now living in a world where maximized value of equity is the

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