7WTC Base Façade, 2002
James Carpenter, who specializes in glass and works out of a studio on nearby Hudson Street, collaborated with David Childs in 2002 to design the exterior of the base of 7WTC, which had to allow fresh air in to circulate around the Con Edison transformers on the north and south sides of the lobby. Their ingenious solution married form to function with a shimmering stainless-steel façade made of 130,000 prisms—angled at 15 degrees to facilitate air flow—that envelop the entire base. At night, 220,000 blue and white LED lights illuminate it from within, reflecting off the prisms. The lights are connected to a motion sensor, animating and enliven- ing the surrounding streets.