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Thread: WTC Transit Hub - by Santiago Calatrava

  1. #3691
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Is anyone at all curious how well (not well) this is going to integrate with the new BIG design for Tower 2? I mean, the transit center, as built, is asymmetric exactly so it hugs both tower 3 and 2 with the original layouts (around the diamond shape of the original base design for T2). I can't imagine this working as well with the new squared off tower, but maybe? Thoughts?

  2. #3692

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    ^The transit hub's wings are aligned not to the footprints of the towers, but to the shapes of the lot-line as prescribed by Daniel Libeskind's site plan. Foster's design was as we know chamfered due to the hexagon plan, but BIG's T2 has the same south wall placement. The only difference in plan is the loss of the small corner 'plaza' Foster's has, but the transit hub never took this into account anyways. There's going to be a little less breathing room between the two but it could potentially make for something more dramatic beneath that canopy.

  3. #3693
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    So now that humongous stupid Ingels design is going to encroach on this masterpiece... Great. One more reason to pray that that reprehensible excuse for architectural design, WTC 2, does not go through!

  4. #3694
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    Really? Because site plans sure make it look like it does....



    and the view from the webcam isn't much different. I believe older site plans may have shown the transportation center conforming to lot lines...



    but I don't believe that's how it's been built.

  5. #3695

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    New York Times
    July 19, 2015

    Retractable Skylight in World Trade Center Oculus Takes Final Form

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP


    One of the final glass panels was hoisted into place at the Oculus pavilion of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in Lower Manhattan on Friday. The project is nearly finished after 10 years.

    Santiago Calatrava said the roof would open.

    And evidently it will.

    On Friday morning, a 5,700-pound glass panel was hoisted into place as a 355-foot-long operable skylight took final form in the Oculus pavilion of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, designed by Mr. Calatrava. Another panel went up in the afternoon.

    Those are among the last of 996 pieces of blast-resistant glass to have been installed at the Oculus since March 15. The glazing should be finished on Monday, said Steven Plate, director of World Trade Center construction for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is building the $3.9 billion rail, subway and shopping hub.

    The winged Oculus is by far the most conspicuous element in the hub, which is nearing completion after 10 years.

    Each Sept. 11, the skylight will be opened to the elements for 102 minutes, Erica Dumas, a spokeswoman for the authority, said. That is how long the 2001 terrorist attack lasted, from the time the first jetliner hit the trade center at 8:46 a.m. until the collapse of the second tower at 10:28 a.m. In the towers, on the ground and in the hijacked planes, 2,753 people were killed.


    A 355-foot-long operable skylight will be the most conspicuous element of the transit and shopping hub. Credit

    “In all weather conditions, the public will experience a subtle sense of man’s vulnerability, while maintaining a link to a higher order,” Mr. Calatrava said on Friday of the annual remembrance.

    “The memory of the victims will be honored and explicitly expressed through the most symbolic and significant element of the project,” he continued, “allowing people to spontaneously gather with a sense of transcendence and elevation.”

    When Mr. Calatrava’s design was unveiled in 2004, he made New Yorkers’ jaws drop by proposing to build the Oculus so that its two sides could pivot open — in their entirety — up to 50 feet, reinforcing the birdlike image he wanted the hub to have.

    No stranger to movable architecture, Mr. Calatrava has created billowing sunscreens at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Florida Polytechnic University.

    In 2008, however, as the Port Authority struggled to contain the cost of the hub, originally estimated at $2 billion, the operable roof was erased from the plans.

    Instead, Christopher O. Ward, who was the executive director of the authority at the time, said retractable skylight panels would be installed in the roof. “The spine will remain as an opening,” he said.

    Now, as the glazing of the Oculus nears completion, the skylight has become easily identifiable, especially from across Greenwich Street on the newly opened northeast plaza of the National September 11 Memorial.

    The skylight uses 224 pieces of glass in 40 panels. The panels, 20 on each side, are cantilevered from the surrounding steel structure to form a seal along the center.


    A construction worker at the installation of one of the final glass panels.

    Though the panels are on separate motors, they are to open synchronously and retract into pockets along the edge of the roof. Because the Oculus tapers, the width of the skylight varies from 12 feet at each end to 22 feet at the center. At its apogee, the skylight is about 160 feet above the floor of the Oculus.

    Though the skylight could, in theory, be opened to purge smoke from the Oculus in case of fire, Mr. Plate said that exhaust fans built into the roof would suffice.

    The other 772 pieces of glass in the Oculus are set between the ribs of the structure. The largest of those are 13 by 5 feet. They are 1.65 inches thick — a little thicker than George Washington’s portrait on the dollar bill is tall. They were made by Eckelt Glas of Austria and installed by Enclos, a facade technology contractor.

    Perhaps the biggest engineering challenge is that the Oculus is a dynamic structure, susceptible to expansion and contraction, as well as back-and-forth and up-and-down movement, depending on wind speed, air temperature and exposure to sunlight, among other factors.

    “The whole structure moves a lot,” Robert A. Heintges of Heintges & Associates, the facade consultants, said in an interview on Friday.

    That required the design of an elaborate custom clamp system, hidden in the ribs, to attach the glass securely while allowing the structure to move slightly around it. It also had to provide the resilience needed to absorb some of the shock of a blast.

    Even the installation of glass affected the structure.

    “It’s changing its behavior as it gets more and more completed,” Mr. Heintges said. “It’s like a living creature. It’s evolving, it’s morphing, because it’s receiving a skin.”

    Mr. Heintges said his biological analogy was not intended to echo Mr. Calatrava’s organic conception of the Oculus. But it seems safe to guess that the architect would be pleased to hear that his building moved. He always said it would.

    © 2015 The New York Times Company

  6. #3696
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    With all the towers being so bland now, this no longer seems to fit in.

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    It may not fit in with in terms of styles; but if nothing else it is does provoke a positive effect on what has ended up being a very lame WTC complex at street level (crappy WTC 1 base, loss of cross braces of WTC 3, how WTC 2 looks like its going to collapse on you, mechanicals that block off the memorial).

    In many ways it saves the aesthetic appeal of the entire WTC complex. Even when they build the inevitable cheap glass box performing arts center it will not take away from the immense grandiosity of this station.

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    True and it came at a huge cost.

  9. #3699

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    Just wait until the paint starts peeling and rust starts staining the surface again. It'll look suitably shabby.

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