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Thread: WTC Transit Hub - by Santiago Calatrava

  1. #151


    Real Estate Weekly

    Wednesday, April 28, 2004

    WTC hub architect aims to inspire a generation.

    Nelson, Barbara

    Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, hopes his design of the Port Authority's
    new World Trade Center Transportation Hub will inspire many generations to
    come. Giving an impassioned presentation at the New York Building Congress
    breakfast last week on his vision of the new hub that he was commissioned to
    design last year, Calatrava explained that, in addition to designing a transit
    station that would fit into and connect the landscapes of the region, he based
    his design on the image of a child, hands outstretched, setting free a bird.

    "The young people, it is given to them," he said to the nearly 300 attendees.
    "It's a civic center. It is given to everybody."

    The glass roof above the hub's freestanding grand pavilion, featuring ribbed
    arches that evoke a cathedral, will open daily during summer months for
    ventilation. The glass-and-steel wings will rise up to 150 feet.

    Calatrava's symbolic design, to be finalized by spring of next year,
    memorializes the event and commemorates the moments before the world changed,
    with even the natural light that will reach rail platforms 60 feet below street
    level having significant meaning.

    "September 11 was a very bright day," he said. "Maybe it (the design of the
    hub) was a better way than having a memorial."

    Although the avant-garde design is quite different than any other terminal hub
    now in New York, it will function much like Grand Central Terminal in Midtown,
    he said.

    Joseph Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New
    Jersey, said, "Santiago understands that great cities demand great spaces ... a
    place that is not only a transportation hub but a great piece of architecture.

    Seymour estimated the project would stay within the $2 billion budget. The
    temporary PATH station, just opened in November of last year, cost $540 million
    to build with a design-build delivery system.

    The permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub is scheduled for completion
    in 2006 and will include underground pedestrian connections to New York City
    subway stations on the 1/9, N/R and E lines, as well as connections to the 2,
    3, 4, 5, J, M, Z, A and C lines at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's
    proposed Fulton Street Transit Center.

    Seymour said the hub will be built in two or three construction stages with all
    construction being completed by 2007/2008.

    Calatrava has designed several transportation projects throughout Europe,
    including Sondica Airport in Bilbao, Spain; Railway Station in Liege, Belgium;
    Airport Station in Lyon, France; Alameda Metro Stationin Valencia, Spain; and
    Stadelhofen Station in Zurich, Germany.

    The WTC project is being designed by the Downtown Design Partnership, which
    includes Calatrava, and is led by the joint venture of DMJM + Harris and STV
    Group, Inc.--two architectural-engineering firms.

    Copyright 2004 Gale Group Inc.

  2. #152
    Forum Veteran
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    Nov 2002
    New York City


    The Daily News seems to be alone in its criticism of the station: not for its design but for its "extravagance." It's true that the new PATH won't connect that many people to begin with, but it's going to connect to two commuter rail lines and practically every subway line that passes through the Financial District. This is the centerpiece of Downtown's mass transit network. It deserves to be extravagant. It deserves to be grand.

  3. #153


    For those interested in how the roof to the Calatrava WTC Transit Hub might be put into place, attached is a time-lapsed video of the roof to the Calatrava Olympic Stadium being slid into place just a few days ago:

  4. #154
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    Cool video! Thanks... :P

  5. #155


    Buildings that breathe

    Santiago Calatrava, the architect chosen for lower Manhattan's transit hub, engineers landmarks for life


    June 22, 2004

    In the sunny showroom of Santiago Calatrava's Park Avenue town house, all museum-white walls and bleached wood floors, geometric sculptures seem frozen in mid-pirouette. Towers of black cubes separated by tiny steel cones, tethered by slender wires, stand in breathless equilibrium, as if the momentum of an instant ago were still trying to hurl them into the air.

    The man who made these things - who has peppered the Western Hemisphere with buildings that appear to have slipped through loopholes in the laws of gravity - enters the room, looking surprisingly earthbound. An architect and engineer by trade, a sculptor and painter by avocation, the 52-year-old Calatrava has bestowed on the Spanish island of Tenerife a concert hall surmounted by a cresting wave. He has designed a bird-like transportation hub with movable wings for the World Trade Center site, and slung swooping bridges across rivers in Europe and California.

    But as he pads into his home gallery dressed in a sober suit, he has the demeanor not of a showman or a visionary or a poet - all words that have been used to describe him - but of an affluent Mediterranean intellectual.

    Speaking erudite Castilian Spanish that occasionally swerves into English, French, Italian and the odd Latin phrase, he extemporizes elaborate paragraphs filled with references to august historical precedents. Lacking the pad and marking pen that usually accompany his conversations, he illustrates his points by molding the air with his fingers. Once or twice, his Swedish wife, Tina, pops in and they have a brief exchange in German.

    Architecture and engineering

    "Until the 18th century, the figure of the architect and the figure of the engineer are completely mixed together," he says. "Look at Michelangelo, for example, who planned the fortifications of Florence and also designed the staircase for the Laurentian Library in Florence. Or Leonardo, the same. The difference between architecture and engineering comes in only with the creation of schools. It's a bureaucratic distinction. The result of both disciplines is the construction of objects in a landscape."

    In Calatrava's case, those objects assert themselves over the landscape with a kind of surrealistic confidence. Passengers headed for the airport in Lyon, France, board a bus in a terminal that resembles an aerodynamic cockroach. The Alamillo Bridge in Seville, and a similar new one across the Sacramento River in Redding, Calif., consists of a single tilted mast, supporting the span by cables.

    His structures tend to resolve into metaphors, often several at once. The bridge is a man, leaning away from his load and tugging on a rope. Or it is a harp, its cables singing in the breeze. Or it represents speed itself, a mast blown back like the world experienced at high velocity.

    Calatrava's buildings often evoke movement. They are best described in verbs: They soar, they lunge, crane, twist and arc. Rather than wading into metaphysical explanations of why this is true, Calatrava offers an engineer's rationale for designing dynamic structures.

    "We're used to thinking of force as a stable phenomenon, but it has a cinematic variable, which is acceleration. In force, you have the crystallization of movement. If I lean on this table, the moment in which the support disappears, my elbow will make a downward movement." Calatrava's buildings express the ineluctable fact that a structure will always want to collapse.

    This might in theory have made him an odd choice to design a train station at the World Trade Center, a site defined by the literal collapse of two towers. What made Calatrava perfect for that task is the sacramental quality of even his most pragmatic projects. His stations and bridges look less like utilitarian public works than like pantheistic temples. Even BCE Place, an enclosed shopping street in Toronto, has the high, rhythmic vaults of a Gothic cathedral. The memorial aura of his winged design for the World Trade Center Transit Hub was instantly obvious.

    Throughout his career, he has been hired by bureaucrats and elected officials because he ennobles infrastructure and supplies a sublime, humanistic rhetoric to go with every project. He can make a compelling connection between a subway platform and ancient Greece.

    It seems somehow apt that on Sept. 11, 2001, he happened to be in Athens, working on the Olympic Stadium, which is now struggling toward completion in time for this summer's games. The next day, he went for a walk in the Plaka, the neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis, and meditated on temples.

    "From there, you can see columns embedded in the wall that supports the Acropolis," he says. "That's the old Parthenon, which was destroyed. But the city was reconstructed and a new Parthenon was built, bequeathing to us our great classical legacy. The attitude of that time is the same as ours: We believe in our own culture and in what those buildings meant. So reconstructing in a more brilliant way, and if possible in a more human way, in a way that is more usable, more transparent, more full of light - this is what we have to do."

    He was born outside Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, and the upbringing he describes is one of studious privilege: art school, long summer travels and a university life that continued until he was 30. He considered himself a painter until the day, at age 17, when he picked up a book on the French architect Le Corbusier, and the graceful masses of the master's buildings, the counterpoint of sumptuous curves and implacable angles, seduced him on the spot.

    Yet he never abandoned his early crafts. Even today he develops ideas by filling artists' pads with figurative line drawings and watercolors and by working out the balance of forces in intricate arrangements of simple shapes. When he was invited to lecture at MIT, he began by showing slides of sculptures he had made out of children's blocks, a stone and lengths of string. In some cases, the link to the figurative idea remains clear, as in "Turning Torso," a high-rise in Malm", Sweden, that evolved from an anatomical study into a tower that twists around its central spine.

    When Calatrava traces his aesthetic heritage back through the 20th century, he mentions artists and sculptors most: Picasso, Rodin, Calder, Henry Moore. Just as he sees no solid line between architecture and engineering, so he believes deeply in the continuity of the plastic arts: An idea worked out on a tabletop in clay, or in two dimensions, eventually can be adapted to the intricacies of an urban site: Architecture is useful sculpture, and a building that has lost its function can revert to sculpture, too.

    "Think about what happens when architecture becomes ruins," he says. "All you have left are some little columns on a cliff, but it's still such an overwhelming experience that you could say architecture is that which makes ruins beautiful. The Parthenon is now a great sculpture."

    Stoking his clients

    While he is involved in the long and laborious process of designing a building, Calatrava keeps his clients stoked with keepsakes of the process. His design for a new concert hall for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has yet to be made public, but he shows up in Atlanta monthly, bearing stacks of watercolors, bound into volumes.

    "I asked him how to approach these sketches," says Alison Vogelmore, the orchestra's executive director. "He said, 'They're in the order of my thinking, and you have to look at them page after page.' Sometimes you see the engineer in him - a very detailed line sketch focusing on how a mechanical joint would work. Then you'll turn the page, and you'll see the running of the bulls, or an inscription, or a Madonna and child. I asked him about those, and he said, 'This is where my mind took a pause.'"

    Calatrava belongs to that rarefied company of architects whose minds and aesthetic personalities are precisely what a client buys. In his case, the result is almost invariably a building that has more in common with other Calatravas around the world than with anything nearby.

    Architectural symbolism

    His metaphors turn out to be adaptable to vastly different jobs. Atlanta's concert hall and lower Manhattan's station will both, it seems, have wings as symbols of regeneration and local history. In Atlanta, they represent the city as thrice-burned phoenix, in New York, the healing from recent trauma. This kind of promiscuous symbolism can irritate even admiring critics.

    "I wouldn't put too much weight on that kind of analysis," says Terence Riley, chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. "But the architecture always validates the argument. If it produces great architecture, then it's hard to say it's the wrong metaphor."

    What rescues Calatrava from the accusation of stick- on interpretations is his sensitivity to the specifics of each site and the client's aspirations. His first major commission, won by competition at 32, a year and a half after finishing his dissertation, was the Stadelhofen train station in Zurich, Switzerland, a fiercely difficult project. The tracks cut into a steep hill, changed level and curved, and the platform roof had to support the houses that already stood on the slope above.

    'Listen to the site'

    "You have to listen to the site," says Calatrava, who now has his principal office in Zurich. "There are situations in which the landscape exerts an enormous amount of control. In Zurich, it's the horizontal that controls everything. All the disparate elements are unified by the through-motion of the train. And when you're limited by the landscape, you can concentrate on the details."

    So Calatrava used the Stadelhofen station to develop signature flourishes of graceful engineering: angled steel pillars, curving concrete surfaces, boomerang-shaped struts and weightless glass canopies. The conditions were complex, but the station he produced was the physical embodiment of a platitude: Have a pleasant journey.

    Calatrava's great strength is his ability to negotiate between a tangled set of specifics and his own broad philosophies.

    "Underlying his humanist predisposition is a kind of universalist concept," Riley says. "He employs the same language globally but employs it to the best advantage of local and specific conditions. A lot of architects will fly into town, rush around and hunt for a metaphor and then back they go to wherever they came from and then six weeks later they come up with something local.

    "Calatrava drops the pretense of globetrotter culture and sticks to his own guns. He understands the programmatic needs, and those become the local conditions - not that he went down to Atlanta and came up with something that reminds him of 'Gone With the Wind' or grits."

    Trusting his audacity

    Experience has taught Calatrava to trust his own audacity, and he is a gently persuasive advocate for his ideas. The New York-based builder Frank Sciame describes his first meeting with Calatrava several years ago as a triumph of unexpected charm. When the architect called one summer afternoon and asked if they could meet for coffee at the Four Seasons Hotel, Sciame naturally assumed that he was shopping for contractors for the Atlanta Symphony Hall.

    "Instead, he wanted me to finish his town house - not even build it, but finish it!" Sciame recalls. "I was a little taken aback. But in 15 minutes of listening to him talk, I was assuring him that he would move in by September."

    80 South St.

    Within a few years, it was Sciame who was hiring Calatrava and offering a tight parcel of land near the South Street Seaport for one of the architect's most startling experiments: an 835-foot tower of cubes reminiscent of the sculptures in his living room. The condominium at 80 South St. will be an alternating stack of four-story town houses clinging to a central core and fastened by spindles on either side. In direct violation of the Manhattan developer's first commandment - Thou Shalt Use Every Inch - much of the tower consists of empty space.

    If it ever gets built, 80 South St. will engrave itself onto the Manhattan skyline and become an instant landmark. It must be an awesome thing to see one's ideas dominate a landscape in perpetuity that way, but the architect demurs.

    "This is a profession you have to approach with a lot of humility," he says. "These works mostly bring honor to those who commissioned them and to those who built them with their hands. I see these works with a certain distance, because they're not mine anymore, they belong to the people who use them.

    "The best is to go into a train station that I've built and buy a ticket. The guy in the ticket booth might recognize me, which is a marvelous feeling, but it might be that he doesn't and I go in like any other passenger, except that I enter with a critical eye, looking to see how it's held up. When I use the train station in Zurich, I look at it with the perspective of 20 years since we began.

    "I can say that it's aging with dignity."

    Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

    80 South Street

  6. #156


    New York Times
    August 27, 2004

    Ground Zero Items Added to Plans for Transit Hub


    A 66-foot-long, travertine-paved remnant of the original World Trade Center concourse - still used every day by hundreds of commuters walking between the Eighth Avenue subway platforms and the PATH station - will be permanently preserved as part of the new trade center transportation hub, the Port Authority said yesterday.

    The authority also said it would salvage a fluorescent orange memorial marking from the stairwell of the underground garage, uncover the remaining steel stubs of the twin towers' perimeter columns and mark the edge of the north tower outline on a PATH platform that will one day cover one corner of the tower's footprint.

    In announcing these and other preservation measures, the Port Authority hoped to defuse the almost simultaneous announcement by the Coalition of 9/11 Families that it was suing the authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in federal court to stop construction at ground zero until the agencies "adhere to their legally binding commitments to satisfy historic preservation requirements."

    Although ground zero appears at first glance to have been swept clean of trade center remnants, there are, in fact, many architectural features and structural outcroppings - some small and quite subtle - that speak to the site's history.

    Saving these remnants will add to the cost and complexity of an already challenging reconstruction project, so there has long been tension between redevelopment officials and preservationists over how much to keep or salvage. They have also battled over the extent to which state agencies are adhering to requirements of federal preservation law.

    "We have to be constantly, diligently, aggressively on their case about all the historic preservation issues," said Anthony Gardner of the Coalition of 9/11 Families. "Otherwise, the historic integrity of the World Trade Center would be destroyed."

    The authority and the corporation said in a statement that they had "worked closely with the coalition and other stakeholders" to preserve the historical significance and dignity of the site and were "deeply disappointed" that the coalition filed suit.

    Originally, the Port Authority planned to demolish the remaining segment of the trade center concourse to accommodate the permanent terminal, in part because there will be a 14-foot difference in floor levels. But Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the authority, said yesterday that as a result of suggestions during a federally required historical review, the entire segment would be preserved and joined to the new building by stairs or escalators. It will still serve as a conduit between the PATH station and the subway.

    A new PATH platform in the permanent hub will cover about 1,600 square feet of the north tower footprint. The tower outline will be indicated on the platform, perhaps with colored tiles, Mr. Coleman said.

    In the garage, which is being demolished to make way for the Freedom Tower, the authority had earlier committed to saving two smoke- and heat-damaged columns and a section of wall labeled "Yellow Parking B2." It has now expanded the salvage list to include a staircase handrail and a fluorescent orange heart and cross, evidently an impromptu memorial to electrical workers who died in the attack. It may also save a ceiling beam stenciled "Ponya," for the Port of New York Authority, as the agency was called when the trade center was under construction.

    Mr. Coleman said the authority would dig as many tower column stubs as possible out from under layers of dirt and gravel, probably in October. This will permit relatives of the attack victims to visit the site and trace much more exactly where the towers stood. The column remnants will also be documented.

    Mr. Gardner was unappeased. "In terms of documentation of the remains of the footprints," he said yesterday, "this should have been done months ago and could have been done months ago."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  7. #157


    Originally, the Port Authority planned to demolish the remaining segment of the trade center concourse to accommodate the permanent terminal, in part because there will be a 14-foot difference in floor levels. But Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the authority, said yesterday that as a result of suggestions during a federally required historical review, the entire segment would be preserved and joined to the new building by stairs or escalators. It will still serve as a conduit between the PATH station and the subway.

    A new PATH platform in the permanent hub will cover about 1,600 square feet of the north tower footprint. The tower outline will be indicated on the platform, perhaps with colored tiles, Mr. Coleman said.
    That's very interesting about the tower outline.....

  8. #158


    I thought the tower footprints were preserved by the memorial????

  9. #159


    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    I thought the tower footprints were preserved by the memorial????
    Not all the way to bedrock.

  10. #160
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    So the memorial fountain will be right above that part of the train station. Hmmm.

  11. #161


    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    So the memorial fountain will be right above that part of the train station. Hmmm.
    Are you talking about the pools/waterfall that will occupy the footprints? Or is this some other memorial fountain?

  12. #162


    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    So the memorial fountain will be right above that part of the train station. Hmmm.
    The trains themselves run at the bottom of the pit (even crossing a footprint at about 70 ft below) while the memorial "footprints" will be about 30 ft below. There will be access to one of the footprints at bedrock.

  13. #163
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairfax, VA


    Am pleased to learn the original WTC base columns will be preserved, in some fashion. Years from now, people will want to have the physical evidence to show that, indeed, there was a WTC and that - yes - the place really was that big.

    As for the new transit hub, terrific! Tie in the LIRR link, and it's the best catalyst for downtown renewal.

  14. #164
    Forum Veteran
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    New York City



    Transit Hub To Preserve Remnants Of Twin Towers

    MARCH 23RD, 2005

    In an effort to preserve history, remnants of the base of the twin towers and a subway stop will be incorporated into the transit hub being built at the World Trade Center site.

    In a deal with the state Historic Preservation Office, the Port Authority, which owns the site, has agreed to build around more than 120 columns that were not destroyed and make them visible to commuters through a glass wall.

    The authority has also promised to do all it can to preserve the old subway entrance for the E line at the site.

    The authority also plans to temporarily relocate the steel beams that stood at the site in the form of a cross, until a permanent location is chosen.

    Victims’ relatives and other advocates say it is important to save as many remnants as possible, because no remains have been identified for over 40 percent of the victims.

  15. #165


    $2 billion budget, nice,

    Does anyone know what the floors and walls of the station are gonna be made out of? In the photos and animations the station looks really white as if the floor was marble or granite.

    Colored tiles seem kinda insulting, so it's just gonna be like a body outline in a homicide? But I don't know, I don't have a better idea. I was at the PATH yesterday and the Newark platform is pretty much right in the middle of the WTC site where the plaza used to be.

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