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Thread: WTC Transit Hub - by Santiago Calatrava

  1. #3721

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    Very nice when cleaned.

  2. #3722

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    In retrospect, they should have swapped the locations of the Snohetta and Calatrava buildings.

  3. #3723

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    WTC Progress on Facebook
    February 3, 2016


  4. #3724

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    New York Magazine
    February 19, 2016

    Boondoggle or Beauty? A First Walk Through Calatrava’s Transportation Hub

    By Justin Davidson


    The World Trade Center Transportation Hub will open next month.. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

    In early 2004, the architect Santiago Calatrava stood beneath the palm trees of the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden and drew a quick sketch of a child releasing a dove. That was the showman’s prelude to unveiling his design for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, a great white bird that charmed a roomful of skeptics. Finally, after all the earthbound squabbles and depressing compromises, here was an expression of upwelling joy. A lot has changed since then: Towers have risen, trauma has been enshrined in a cryptlike museum, and the scar tissue between the site and the city has slowly begun to heal. Calatrava’s design, too, has evolved: The glass cocoon, delicately veined with steel, thickened its hide after the attacks on railway targets in London and Madrid. The cost, as we’ve all heard, leapt from the huge to the inconceivable, topping out just under $4 billion. If those of us who felt the exhilaration of that day understood the financial implications better than the Port Authority had, would we have swallowed hard and rained brimstone down on the design? Maybe, but hardly anyone did. Like most critics, I waxed rapturous: Calatrava, I wrote, had conceived “an optimistic emblem of flight as an answer to airborne disaster.”

    After a dozen years, many doubts, and a walk through the nearly complete station this past week, I feel exactly the same. It seems miraculous that Calatrava’s daydream should now finally exist, altered yet recognizable. Its frame is a little less lithe, its skin a little less smooth, its concept more mature. What remains is an extravagantly idealistic creation unlike any in New York. It challenges the city’s public architecture to rise above habitual cut corners and rectilinear repetition. The cost of beauty is often high.


    Photo: Santiago Calatrava

    The rest of the World Trade Center complex evokes its history with a pair of deep memorial pits and a plan for four skyscrapers around a stone-paved plaza. The station disrupts this relentlessly Cartesian arrangement. It roosts at the foot of towers, steel-veined wings almost brushing an adjacent façade. Sitting aslant the grid of streets, it turns toward the morning sun. The Transportation Hub is a buried, tentacled affair, stretching toward both rivers and linking the PATH with 11 subway lines, but the part that pokes above ground is the oculus, the building’s great white eye. Observed from a high floor of a neighboring address, it seems to squint — especially when the retractable skylight blinks — and the wings metamorphose into lashes. Does any work of architecture in New York turn such an expressive face to the clouds?

    Calatrava originally designed the wings to dip, a ludicrously literal flourish that was wisely scrapped. What remains of that urge is the illusion of motion contained in every view. Outside, the eye is drawn up and out in a parabolic swoop, as if vertical piers on an Art Deco skyscraper were being whipped by speed. Look along the exterior flank, and the parallel columns appear to accelerate like bicycle spokes. In the PATH Hall that extends beneath the memorial plaza, the steel lines flow horizontally, undulating across the ceiling to make an underground chamber feel like a dive beneath the waves.

    The oculus merges a flock of organic allusions, but its most astute homage to nature lies in the way it makes visible the forces of gravity and shear. Calatrava began with a basic engineering tool, the bending moment diagram, which shows the stresses on a cantilevered beam. Those calculations gave him the shape of each rib: an immense boomerang that he could balance on one tip with the other tilted toward the sky. He lined up all these freestanding sculptures and attached them at the elbows, creating a pair of immense arches along the spine. If the whole massive ensemble seems held together by nothing at all, it’s because the oculus is effectively a pair of separate clamshell-like structures, lightly joined at either end. You could knock one half down and the other would barely budge. (This is the most graceful of fortresses: A bomb could also snap half a dozen ribs near the base and their upper extensions would remain in place.)


    How the ribs would have fluttered, in the design's earliest forms. Photo: Santiago Calatrava

    Despite the scale, you enter at either end through a low vestibule no grander than an ordinary subway entrance. A short flight of stairs leads to an observation deck that juts out over a vast white marble plain. Light slips between the columns, which curtain the view like Venetian blinds. From here the walls seem to merge into translucent shells that curve away to a distant point, so that you could almost be standing in the cavity of a scooped-out egg. Escalators continue down past the mezzanine ring of shops that will help pay the bills once it opens, probably around the end of the summer. More escalators, hidden behind the curved wings of an operatic staircase, drop down to the oculus floor.

    The large hall competes with Grand Central Terminal in its vaulted drama, but if you stand in the center and look up, the effect is more Pantheon-like: Instead of a central arch, the eye finds a feather-shaped length of air. The site’s master planner, Daniel Libeskind, had imagined a “Wedge of Light,” a frame for the rays that fall across the site at 10:28 every September 11 — the moment when the second tower fell. Calatrava, honoring that idea, has the sun slice through the open skylight. And the rest of the year, when the vault isn’t serving that particular Stonehengian function, it still allows a generous portion of sunshine to cascade down into the hall.

    The elaborately minimalist design is all the more astounding because of the site’s gnarled complexity. Calatrava has been attacked for invoking facile metaphors from nature, for randomly defying convention, for pushing against the limits of buildability, for bequeathing intolerable maintenance burdens, for indulging in visual razzmatazz instead of just getting the job done, and, mostly, for erecting budget-guzzling luxuries. A man of grandiloquent visions and erudite charm, he has managed to cajole unsuspecting bureaucrats on both sides of the Atlantic into buying more than they could pay for. He has sometimes sacrificed practicality on the altar of amazement.

    But the fault is hardly his alone: A building that is years late and fantastically over budget is the sign of a troubled client. Calatrava’s originality unquestionably drove up costs here, and siphoned off money that might have been spent, or maybe wasted, elsewhere. At the same time, the site’s intertwining components took the Port Authority’s leadership by surprise, over and over again. At the tapering end of the oval hall, the 1 train runs through an MTA tube that the Port Authority’s builders had to support on an underground bridge without interrupting service or letting the tracks budge more than a couple of inches. PATH platforms thread beneath the memorial and the underground museum. Once all of the parts are finished and open, the temporary entrance at the corner of Greenwich and Vesey streets will be dismantled to make way for a performing-arts center. Mechanical systems for one facility intrude into others. Somehow, Calatrava extracted elegance from this tangle.

    Cost is an objective fact; value isn’t. Whether you consider this station splendid overkill, an ugly boondoggle, or a lasting work of genius depends on a host of intangibles. Granted, you can move 100,000 commuters in and out of New Jersey every day a good deal more modestly and cheaply. (Penn Station manages five or six times that number of passengers.) But the Hub serves an area that is both the oldest and newest part of town, and keeps changing in ways that planners have never been able to predict. There’s a good chance that more commuters will arrive as new offices materialize, old ones become apartments, and the neighborhood acquires residents who will flow through the oculus in search of dinner, a shirt, or a meeting spot. I doubt it will ever feel empty. In the end, we are left with a structure that must endure a century or more. Calatrava’s skeletal dove joins the tiny circle of New York’s great indoor public spaces, serving not just the city that built it but also the city it will help build.

    Copyright © 2016, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  5. #3725
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    February 20th, 2016


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    So the guy in charge at the port authority right now is refusing to promote the new station and has cancelled the ribbon cutting to spite the originators of this project and take away their limelight. I can't say I blame him

  8. #3728
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    Next Week I will do a complete station photography overview... Even though the Port Authority might still try to infringe on my right to photograph their PATH system... I will still try to cover the entire station... Platforms , Trains , Exits , The Great Hall , Entrances , side areas....everything....
    Last edited by Nexis4Jersey; February 25th, 2016 at 09:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
    Next Week I will do a complete station photography overview... Even though the Port Authority might still try to infringe on my right to photograph their PATH system... I will still try to cover the entire station... Platforms , Trains , Exits , The Great Hall , Entrances , side areas....everything....
    Well, although a PA facility the PATH station is a public transportation center governed by laws of New York City (and obviously the US constitution). NYC has specific laws relating to video and photography which basically allows you to take pictures of whatever you want in public spaces. The exception is if you're using a tripod in which case you need a permit. That's not to say you won't get harassed, I'm guessing you'll have plenty of "friendly" conversations with security

  11. #3731
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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    Well, although a PA facility the PATH station is a public transportation center governed by laws of New York City (and obviously the US constitution). NYC has specific laws relating to video and photography which basically allows you to take pictures of whatever you want in public spaces. The exception is if you're using a tripod in which case you need a permit. That's not to say you won't get harassed, I'm guessing you'll have plenty of "friendly" conversations with security
    I wasn't aware of that NYC law , doesn't surprise though. Probably had to put t in after so many lawsuits..

  12. #3732
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    Taken Yesterday - 3.3.16

    So yesterday I photographed some of the Oculus , I didn't photograph every entrance since most were restricted or confusing... I was ordered by 4 security guards and a police officer to stop photographing on the Platforms but managed to get a few shots while they were all yelling at me... When I brought up the Previous Supreme court case / ruling against the PA's Photo Ban in Bus Terminals. The officer said a Supreme court ruling in 1960 does not stand in 2016... hno::nuts: Very Frightening to hear that....I don't think that's an isolated incident... I hear stories from time to time about PA cops who say Supreme court or NY court rulings do not matter to the PA...

    My overall feelings about the Transportation hub... It feels sterile and an empty shell....now I know they plan on filling it with retail. But if Fulton and Brookfield are anything to go by , its not retail that the average commuter could afford. The retail and food in Brookfield and Fulton except for a few places is high end and out of reach of most people in this region... So the Transportation hub which is over budget will become a glorified Wealthy Mall.. The Passenger congestion on the platforms is dangerously high and the staircases are too narrow for the rush hr crowds... Its a joke of a station... 4.5 out of 10... hno:


    Around the World Trade Center Complex in the Early Evening Hours
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    Around the World Trade Center Complex in the Early Evening Hours
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    Around the World Trade Center Complex in the Early Evening Hours
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    Around the World Trade Center Complex in the Early Evening Hours
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    Around the World Trade Center Complex in the Early Evening Hours
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Hub in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    The World Trade Center Oculus in Lower Manhattan,NY
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    This is the Train to Newark Penn Station....the Next stop is Exchange Place...
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    Stop & Proceed at WTC
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    This is the Train to Hoboken ....the Next stop is Exchange Place...
    by Corey Best, on Flickr


    This is the Train to Newark Penn Station....the Next stop is Exchange Place...
    by Corey Best, on Flickr

  13. #3733

  14. #3734

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    (Sam Yee on Flickr)


    (Lenny Spiro on Flickr)


    (Barry Yanowitz on Flickr)

  15. #3735
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    nice shot

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