Re-imagining the new World Trade Center
as a hub of energy and excitement.


The unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unforgettable. They say the best way to cope with tragedy is to keep moving forward. However, the reality of the new World Trade Center was more than a decade in the making. When the time finally came for The Port Authority to begin welcoming people back to the site, they reached out and asked us, “Where do we begin?”

In retrospect, design was only 50% of the challenge. The rest was navigating large government organizations, working collaboratively to manage different POVs … complicated by the fact the site was still under construction. But when most visitors were looking at a hole in the ground, we were focused on hope and opportunity. We saw shopping and dining. We saw nightlife and living. We saw all the excitement and enjoyment that was about to arrive, and we wanted everyone else to see it, too.

Our approach to the creative was bold and outgoing, energetic, dynamic, and full of life. It began with thorough research and insights gleaned from the multiple site stakeholders and honed into an encompassing and inspiring brand narrative. This was everything the site wasn’t at the time but was destined to become. The brand identity was inspired by the shapes and forms of the architectural experience, both above and below ground, which were broken down and remade into signage motifs and directional language. Our approach to the client relationship was pretty much the same. We applied a broad set of capabilities and our unique perspective to each challenge and built one success upon another.

The magic of design thinking is seeing what’s not yet there and then making it real. We’ve seen the vision come to life. We’ve felt the energy. We’ve heard people laughing and seen smiles on their faces as they experience the site (and our work). The data isn’t quantifiable, yet the feeling is immeasurable. New Yorkers and visitors from around the world have new memories to #neverforget.

As New Yorkers, we knew the World Trade Center was an important story of resiliency, vitality, and hope that had to be told.