After being buffeted for years by fiscal concerns and by diverse opinion and critique enveloping the overall rebuilding of New York’s World Trade Center site, the site’s Transportation Hub final design has been unveiled by architect Santiago Calatrava. A model of the design will be on display through Aug. 31 at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in New York, as part of an exhibition entitled, "Santiago Calatrava: World Trade Center Transportation Hub."
The Transportation Hub will serve the Port Authority’s PATH bistate rapid transit line, and serve as an access point for numerous subway lines operated by MTA New York City Transit.
The final design has emerged from a torturous political process launched in late 2003, as the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey selected Downtown Design Partnership, a joint venture of DMJM + Harris, STV Group Inc., and Parsons Transportation in association with Santiago Calatrava S.A. to design the facility, as part of the larger effort in lower Manhattan to rebuild on (and under) Ground Zero.
Calatrava’s glass and steel structure allows natural light to flood the Transportation Hub during the day; at night the illuminated building will serve as a lantern for the plaza and the (still undetermined number of) office towers surrounding it. The roof of the Hub's freestanding structure will be fitted with an operable skylight located along the central axis. During good weather, and on September 11th each year, the skylight will open, providing the interior space with a slice of sky and its natural light.
In a statement, Calatrava said, “In its revised state the project retains all of its fundamental beauty and functionality.” He added, "It is my hope that the Transportation Hub will serve generations of commuters, subway riders, pedestrians, and local residents well into the years to come."