The long expected World Trade Center transportation hub by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is due to open later this year in New York. In 2004, Calatrava unveiled his design for the new facility for Lower Manhattan, replacing the original Port Authority Trans-Hudson rail system that was destroyed on September 11, 2001. The design is an expression of Calatrava’s signature skeletal structures.
The building — the Oculus — is a free standing structure and creates calmness amid the urban jungle of commercial towers. The Oculus is elliptical shaped and comprised of steel ribs and glass. The soaring articulated ribs create two canopies over the north and south parts of the plaza. I love the dynamic exterior! Calatrava explains:
The building is built with steel, glass and light. They will all be equal building materials. The station appears transparent, and also guards you with its wings.
The white marble interior looks magnificent. It is light and airy. The steel and glass wings allow daylight to pass through the rail platforms approximately 18 meters below the street. The roof has an operable skylight made of glass panels that will be opened to the elements each September 11.
Photography by Tamara Weber.