New York City is regarded by many as the greatest city in the world, always moving, always hopeful. In terms of architecture known for its famous sky touching towers to historical museums, but interestingly enough for its civic buildings which are considered nothing less than landmarks, which are experienced & celebrated every day by thousands of people of New York. One such structure ‘The Oculus NYC’ showing the true spirit of New York is the new and improved transportation hub in the lower Manhattan built on the site of the fallen World Trade Centre by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, which is making its impact in a city full of high risers from GROUND ZERO.
Here Are 15 Interesting Facts About The Oculus NYC:
1. The concept of hope
The structure itself is the portrayal of a bird about to take a flight from the hands of a young boy to show that no matter what obstacle the city faces it will always be hopeful. The form comes from a model the architect made 15 years before the project’s completion called Mother and child.
2. Duration of the project
The work of rebuild of The Oculus NYC was started right after the incidents of 9/11 but the project took 14 years to be completed and opened in February of 2016, which was 7 years behind schedule to which the architect explains that it was his idea to use this time to build it for the new generation of the city
3. The most expensive train station
With an estimated budget of 2 Billion when it was proposed in 2004, it ended up costing double it at 4 Billion dollars making it the most expensive train station in the world.
4. An iron man among train stations
About 11500 tonnes of steel was used in the construction of this huge structure and the steel used was so specialized that only 4 firms in the world can manufacture that, hence it was shipped specially from Italy to Brooklyn. This steel comes with a fireproof coating giving it a rough texture that could have been smoothened.
5. The heist of Transportation
There were over 580 pieces with some elements over 30 m long proved to be very difficult to transport, from the workshop to the construction site of a 7-mile route in the dense urban area of lower Manhattan which kept the worker busy for many years and cost 3 million dollars.
6. Record-breaking Twin Cranes
The cranes used in the construction of The Oculus NYC and responsible for lifting heavy components with a height of 185ft were some of the biggest cranes ever used in the city.
7. Trademark of the Architect
This project has a striking similarity to the work of another railway station in Lyon, France designed by the same architect.
8. Beautiful Play of light
Light plays an important factor in any built structure and as per the architect, the structure receives the same daylight as a person walking on the street in front of the structure. At night it looks like a lantern given the responsibility of illuminating the city.
9. The roof that flies
In the earlier concept of the building, the structure was supposed to have a retractable roof that could move as per need which gives the look of a flying bird but due to various construction and design constraints it couldn’t be made instead panels of the skylight were placed which serves the purpose of daylight.
10. Hallway of history
A special hallway in 2013 of the Hub was opened to the common public and on its right wall a plaque stands which shows the agreement which was signed to protects and preserve the remnants of the Hudson River Bulkhead and the Slurry Wall
11. The simplicity of circulation
The art of circulation is a skill set of a great architect, according to Calatrava the circulation of this hub is so simple and easy to understand that even his mother can figure it out accurately without any difficulty.
12. Thickness is less than an iPhone
To make sure the building is structurally sound, the thickness of steel couldn’t be off by 1/8th of an inch thus the steel had to be designed specifically for this structure of the 365,000 square feet in total, 225,000 square feet will be devoted to retail and restaurant space.
13. Matter of controversies
Calatrava is known to prefer aesthetics more than functionality which was highly criticized for having an impractical design and also for the huge delay in construction, making the end product cost twice the initial estimated budget.
14. Special Surrounding and Neighbourhood
The location of The Oculus NYC in itself is very special and important because of its association with the biggest act of terrorism in the history of the country. It is placed near the newly built freedom tower, the 9/11 memorial museum, and the famous Hudson River.
15. The economic hub of the area
With over 60 percent of the area dedicated to the commercial zone of retail shops and restaurants which means of the 365,000 square feet in total, 225,000 square feet will be used and serves as a major economic hub as it is visited by 300,000 people every day and even a million on special occasions.