Oculus, the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, was inaugurated on March 3.
Hosting 250,000 daily commuters and millions of visitors from all over the world every year, it will be New York's third most important station. The key goals of the port authority included creation of a platform for multimodal transport linking the railways with the subway system and incorporating pedestrian connections with Brookfield Place (the former World Financial Center) and new buildings in the area.
The intention is to make the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub a key to redevelopment in Lower Manhattan, just as Grand Central Station was in Midtown Manhattan.
The station's shape brings to mind images from art history; Calatrava sees it as representing a little bird flying out of a child's hands.
The station's most distinctive elements are two big wings – platform roofs reaching a height of about 50 m above street level and its single big central hall. The complex structure was created thanks to modular repetition of steel ribbing. This sculptural white skeleton is penetrated by natural light, a key structural element in the project for Calatrava, poetically creating a building that seems to be supported by columns of light.
Design: Santiago Calatrava
Location: Lower Manhattan / Ground Zero, New York, USA
Images Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and renderings with Copyright Santiago Calatrava LLC.