Published August 18, 2011
One World Trade Center will eventually be several million square feet. It will rise to a dizzying height of 1,776 feet. At a glance everything about it is massive or enormous.
But parts make up the whole.
Some are concrete or steel, but the vital parts are really the hands and minds putting it all together.
Nicole Dosso is a senior technical architect with Skidmore Owings and Merrill or SOM, the architectural firm behind 1 World Trade Center
“The construction out on the site is still being produced in many of the similar fashions that were [used] hundreds of years ago,” says Dosso. “It’s basically man with their hands, man or a woman, individuals out there building.”
Dosso spends her time straddling two worlds. One in the office, helping putting together the final designs on the building, and one in the field, helping execute those ideas. But both of these worlds share a common goal.
On one hand there is the “office” Nicole Dosso.
SOM’s offices in lower Manhattan, with its pristine white walls, clean lines and minimalist interior, are filled with dozens of people focused on building plans that are cluttered with details.
All around the office plans are being examined. Whether it an individual and their computer or a group of people discussing how or why something should be designed a certain way there is a calm frenzy about the mood. There is an intensity and stress to the work.
These plans are simply ideas on paper and Dosso and her team who are tasked with making them a reality in our world, which isn’t always simple.
“Most of the issues are resolved on paper, we try to leave very little issues for the field,” says Dosso.
In the field at 1 WTC, about 10 minutes from her office, you see another scene. There Dosso has traded in a blue dress, her favorite color, for blue jeans, boots and a hardhat. She is on site to make sure plans are executed as they were drawn up and when they aren’t, or can’t be, she turns her focus to the solution.
“I pretty much just come back down to evaluate where they are with the stages of the work so I can figure how to prioritize.”
And if something isn’t working, solutions need to come quickly. Dosso seems to understand that ASAP isn’t just something you say, it’s something you do.
“If they have a question out in the field it really needs to be answered almost immediately. You have workers out there are requiring a response in order to continue their work,” says Dosso.
Her and team use finished jobs to solve potential problems for yet-to-be completed tasks. For example, a few floors are finished, well not quite finished. They need paint, carpet and other interior design work. But they are structurally complete with all the mechanical, engineering and plumbing installed. Floors like this allow them to tackle problems once, solve them, and avoid delays as they move up the building.
“[The] 20th floor is our mock up floor. We can catch any imperfections or quality control issues early on. That’s really the point,” says Dosso. “[It] will remain the model of what we would expect on the next series of floors, it’s the quality of installation that we would accept and expect.”
Not surprisingly this job isn’t simply work for Dosso. She fled SOM’s offices on the morning of Sept.11th, 2001. She, like so many, can recount that day and her experience in vivid detail.
She said she come back to work a week or so later, and the offices were caked in dust. But when she got back to her desk, she said there was her uneaten breakfast still sitting there.
“Those were some of the harder moments, the days and the weeks and the months afterwards,” says Dosso.
Now almost 10 years later the dust is on her boots and jeans. And she is one of thousands helping rebuild and reshape New York City’s skyline. Perhaps those efforts and that dedication will result in a figurative transformation as well as literal one.
It seems to be for Dosso.
"There's a real sense of pride. It’s really great to see it all coming together," she says.
To see the latest segment in the Rise of Freedom series tune into Fox Report with Shepard Smith, tonight, at 7pm ET. Click here, here and here to learn even more about the work and progress of the World Trade Center site.