Looking up inside the Oculus (while others look down)
A few photos from a trip to the 9/11 Memorial, the One World Trade Center tower, and the Oculus at the World Trade Center Transportation hub. Although shot in late August, it is fitting that I’m posting these now, on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.
Fountain at Ground Zero
And here are some additional photos of the Oculus and surrounding buildings, including One World Trade Center:
Oculus and One World Trade Center
Outside the Oculus
Designed by renown Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Oculus and World Trade Center station took 12 years to build and $4 billion in public funds– the most expensive train center ever.
As the New York Times noted, “Calatrava’s original soaring spike design was scaled back because of security issues. In the name of security, Santiago Calatrava’s bird has grown a beak. Its ribs have doubled in number and its wings have lost their interstices of glass…. [T]he main transit hall, between Church and Greenwich Streets, will almost certainly lose some of its delicate quality, while gaining structural expressiveness. It may now evoke a slender stegosaurus more than it does a bird.”
The compromised design and enormous cost of the project led to an ongoing controversy, summarized by wikipedia, with a few quotes:
Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post described the station in 2014 as it was being built as “a self-indulgent monstrosity” and “a hideous waste of public money”. Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times, referred to the structure as “a kitsch stegosaurus”. New York magazine referred to it in 2015 as it neared completion as a “Glorious Boondoggle.”
I more or less agree with the criticism, especially given the massive cost and fact that so much of the station interior is made up of high-end shops. But is was fun to photograph.
The full set may be seen here, on Flickr