Daniel Libeskind, who devised the master plan for the World Trade Center site but has not yet fully designed a building there, will be among the architects competing to design one or both of the cultural complexes planned for the redevelopment.
In issuing a request for proposals this week, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation painted the fullest picture to date of what visitors might find when the two complexes are completed in 2009: six theaters, ranging from 99 to 1,000 seats each; large galleries for drawings and for artifacts related to freedom; a Pilates studio; two gift shops; three bookstores; four cafes; a ground-floor dance rehearsal studio visible to pedestrians; a special events space (with kitchen) on a terrace overlooking the site; and a ceremonial space where naturalized citizens can be sworn in.
The north building, a performing arts complex of 250,000 to 300,000 square feet next to the Freedom Tower, will be occupied by the Joyce Theater International Dance Center and the Signature Theater Center. The south building, a museum complex of 250,000 to 275,000 square feet on the same block as the memorial, will be occupied by the Drawing Center and the International Freedom Center.
The cultural organizations will join the development corporation in selecting the architects, based in part on experience and reputation, a choice that is expected to be made on Sept. 27.
The chosen architects will prepare the broad, overall design known as a schematic.
It is expected that each complex will be designed by a different architect or team of architects, adding two more distinctive visions to a site that will already have three strongly expressed works: the memorial, the Freedom Tower and the PATH terminal and transportation hub, with more towers to come.
"It's a very weighty challenge," Kevin M. Rampe, the president of the development corporation, acknowledged yesterday.
"We don't want something that is - I hate the term mishmash - everybody trying to outdo everybody else," he said. "What we're looking for is an opportunity to have something that expresses what's inside the building but at the same time harmonizes with what else is on the site."
Mr. Libeskind's business partner and wife, Nina Libeskind, said yesterday that Studio Daniel Libeskind would certainly apply to design the museum but had not yet decided whether to compete for the performing arts center.
"We did hundreds and hundreds of studies for the L.M.D.C. on space allocation, so we certainly are knowledgeable about the site," Ms. Libeskind said. But she added, "I'm sure many, many architects will be applying."
One firm that will not is Handel Architects. Michael Arad, who is now a partner in the firm, won the juried design competition for the memorial in January. Gary Handel, another partner, said yesterday that his firm had considered competing for the cultural buildings but decided not to. "We would like to keep our focus 100 percent on the memorial," he said.
"We think the memorial needs an unconflicted advocate," Mr. Handel added. "And that's Michael."
David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, architects of the Freedom Tower, will also not compete. A spokeswoman for the firm, Elizabeth Kubany, said Mr. Childs believed that different architects ought to be responsible for different parts of the new trade center, since the original complex was "one person's vision and felt too monolithic."
It is conceivable that the architects chosen for the broad design will not undertake the far more detailed construction drawings. The development corporation said in the request for proposals, which are due Sept. 1, that it may continue the architectural contract beyond the schematic phase but that it "shall have no obligation to do so."