Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Hub opens in New York

Santiago Calatrava’s centrepiece of the sprawling new transit facility at the World Trade Center complex in New York will open on Thursday (March 3).

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, also knows as the Oculus, represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections to mass transit lines in the city, and doubles as a light-filled public gathering space and retail zone. The building has taken 12 years to build at a reported cost of US$4.4bn (€4bn, £3.1bn).

Inspired by the image of a bird released from a child's hands, Calatrava has designed the hub as a large elliptical volume of glass and steel ribs extended to create canopies over a plaza.

Two 350ft (106.6m) arches flank the project's central axis, and between them rests a 330ft (100.5m) operable skylight which frames the New York sky. This will open on warm days and annually on 11 September, flooding light into the building in tribute to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“The combination of natural light and sculptural form give dignity and beauty to the building’s lower levels and pedestrian walkways, and provide New York City with a kind of public space it has not previously enjoyed,” said Calatrava – who was last year awarded the European Prize for Architecture.

“The first major design decision was to conceive the building as a freestanding structure and situate it along the southern edge of Daniel Libeskind's 'Wedge of Light' plaza,” he added.

“This treatment of the site creates a kind of pause amid the dense commercial towers and links the procession of green spaces extending from City Hall Park to the churchyard of St. Paul's, through the WTC Transportation Hub plaza to the gardens of the Memorial and Battery Park.”

The hub was commissioned to replace the original Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail system, which was destroyed on 9/11. It will ultimately provide street-level access to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and below-ground access to One World Trade Center, 3 World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center and 2 World Trade Center.

“This was a challenging project for the agency in terms of timetable and costs, but the men and women of the Port Authority and the contractors who worked on this nationally important infrastructure project should be rightly proud of their efforts,’’ said Port Authority chair John Degnan. “We trust the Oculus will serve a vital transportation need for the region, while becoming an important landmark for the metropolitan area and nation in the decades to come.”

Santiago Calatrava  World Trade Center Hub  Oculus  architecture  design  New York  Port Authority 
Related stories
08 Feb 2016

'As great as the Burj Khalifa': Santiago Calatrava wins contract for futuristic Dubai tower

16 Dec 2015

Santiago Calatrava's Museum of Tomorrow opens in Rio

23 Nov 2015

New York architects REX will design performing arts complex at the World Trade Center

17 Nov 2015

'True artist' Calatrava awarded European Prize for Architecture in New York

12 Jun 2015

BJARKE INGELS VIDEO: From roof gardens to basketball courts, BIG's designs for 2 WTC

29 May 2015

Hettema Group's One World Observatory opens to the public

12 Sep 2011

9/11 Memorial opens to general public

28 Feb 2003

Libeskind chosen for World Trade Centre

FEATURE: Museum – A museum for everyone

Santiago Calatrava’s centrepiece of the sprawling new transit facility at the World Trade Center complex in New York will open on Thursday (March 3). The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, also knows as the Oculus, represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections to mass transit lines in the city, and doubles as a light-filled public gathering space and retail zone. The building has taken 12 years to build
The World Trade Center Transportation Hub represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections to mass transit lines in New York / Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7689     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7689     
company profile
Company profile: Painting With Light
Painting with Light is a team of professional lighting and multimedia experts who design and produce visual experiences that dazzle & shine.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The interiors are by Hong Kong-based practice CCD with input from Jochman
Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

Interview: Blurred lines
Scott Lee became president of SB Architects in 2000. Tracy Lee founded TLee Spas in 2015
"We design to connect the guest to the place, positioning people at the centre of the design"

Architect Scott Lee and spa consultant Tracey Lee on marrying the worlds of design and wellness in a series of interesting projects

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The Electric Lemon restaurant features glamorous interiors by Rockwell Group
"Further hotels have been confirmed for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston"

Rockwell Group and Joyce Wang on the inspirations behind the guest rooms, public spaces, spa and gym at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

Slender white columns follow the lines of the columns on the museums that surround it
Alexander Schwarz
"Our aim was to create a place celebrating public space and accessibility"

The opening of the James-Simon- Galerie on Berlin’s Museum Island completes two decades of work for David Chipperfield Architects. The lead designer talks us through the building

The waste-to-energy plant has a ski slope, hiking trails, an 85m climbing wall, restaurant and apres ski bar
"It was born from the sheer anxiety of having to submit something brilliant in a very short timescale"

How a moment of desperation led to BIG’s CopenHill, the clean power plant that’s doubling as a skiing and leisure destination. Magali Robathan speaks to the architects that made it happen

Alan Metcalfe
"When people are a bit scared, they gather together"

Featuring a vibrating glass platform and one of the US’s longest tree canopy walks, Whiting Forest has been designed to bring visitors closer to nature and to one another

Elina Grigoriou
Elina Grigoriou
"Temperature, noise level and colour affect our stress levels. As designers we should be asking ourselves, how do these things match up?"

The London-based interior designer and wellness expert hopes her new book will help readers understand how to design with wellbeing in mind

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

cladkit product news
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
cladkit product news
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates