The image of a bird in flight is not one normally associated with an underground transportation center, but architect Santiago Calatrava has perfectly managed to marry the two. As designed, the World Trade Center (WTC) transportation hub -- built with two 150-feet-tall canopies extending from a glass- and steel-ribbed “body” -- sits at street level like a bird poised for flight, delivering natural light to the PATH train platform 60 feet below ground.
*Images courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Click here to view a slide show featuring the latest renderings of this project. Also view animations showing an exterior view and interior view of the transportation hub.
Calatrava originally unveiled his design to the public in 2004 and, to address security, engineering, and feasibility elements for the future landmark, revised it in July 2005 and summer 2008.
The $3.2 billion hub will sit at the northeast corner of the WTC site at Church and Vesey Streets and is expected to form an underground connection between the World Financial Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Fulton Street Transit Center. Through it, pedestrians will have access to Hudson River ferry terminals, PATH trains, 13 subway lines, and possibly a direct rail link to JFK International Airport.
Calatrava’s design features steel “ribs” with glass panels between them to maximize natural light inside the station. The underground concourse, mezzanine, and platform levels will be largely free of vertical columns for a greater sense of openness and movement. The hub will also be a central pedestrian thoroughfare for the half-million-square-foot retail program planned for the WTC’s lower levels.
“The building is built with steel, glass, and light. They will all be equal building materials,” Calatrava said. “The light will arrive at the platform, and visitors will feel like they are arriving in a great place, a welcoming place.”
Calatrava said that Daniel Libeskind’s original master plan both guided his design and served as inspiration, stating that the transportation hub “articulates with Libeskind’s beautiful plan. The station fits like a centerpiece in the middle of the plaza.”
The hub in its entirety, which is being funded in part by the Federal Transit Administration, should open by mid-2014 and is expected to eventually serve more than a quarter-million travelers daily.
For more information about the temporary PATH station now open to the public, please click here or visit the Port Authority's website at www.pathrestoration.com.
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