Many of the reviews describe it as an architectural wonder, forgetting the controversies caused by the stratospheric cost of the project (four billion dollars). The center is what is known as Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), a labyrinth of underground ways that ease the transfer between different subway lines.
The building is inspired by the historic Grand Central Station and New York Penn Station, with vast bright spaces and varying levels of high beams which, which combined with the immaculate white of the walls, result in a stunning look. Its concave curved walls rise to 150 feet tall, converging in a glass shaft that serves as a giant skylight.
The design evokes some of Calatrava’s previous projects— such as the subway station at Lyon— and have been described by The New York Times as ideal scenarios for taking pictures and selfies. Besides the beauty of the indoor environments, commuters will enjoy bright and welcoming terraces where the waiting time to board the subway will be more pleasant.
“This infrastructure is important because it will be the anchor and the development engine in all lower Manhattan,” Calatrava told EFE during the pre-opening event of the station. Time—and the daily functionality of the project—will surely confirm the opinion of the renowned architect.
Moreover, the exoticism of the structure will play its role in tourism marketing, expanding the economic benefit of the city’s interconnecting center. Investors believe that after it is working at full capacity this coming spring, this “rara avis” will become an important attraction for thousands of travelers from around the world, who will come to photograph the latest creation of the famous Calatrava.
The building director of the WTC, Steve Plate, stated in a tour of the building “the station represents the rebirth of Ground Zero after the 2001 attacks.” Everyone in New York expected it, especially the residents. The aim is that the Oculus will become a must-see spot for urban visitors and will conquer a place of pride in the community. Thus, over time, the excessive cost of the construction cost may be forgotten. ■