[IMAGE]WTC-Transport-Hub-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Santiago Calatrava, world-renowned architect, artist and engineer, presented his final design for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub during a press conference on Friday, May 8, at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in New York City.
A never-before-seen model of the design, which preserves the overall integrity of Calatrava's original plan, is currently on display at the Institute as part of an exhibition entitled, "Santiago Calatrava: World Trade Center Transportation Hub." The exhibition is an opportunity for commuters, subway riders and pedestrians to see how the design has transcended the complex challenges of the site and will significantly improve mass-transit connections across Lower Manhattan.
In Fall 2003, the Port Authority of New York and 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 new Transportation Hub, replacing the one destroyed in the 9/11 attack.
According to a released statement, the design, which is seen as a symbol of renewal and hope, is defined through the evocative image of a bird being released from a child's hand. To emphasize his vision, Calatrava chose "light" as a structural element for his design. According to him, the building is supported by "columns of light" -- physical light as well as "metaphysical."
The architect's glass and steel structure is meant to have a profound impact on Lower Manhattan at all times of the day. During the day, natural light will flood into the Transportation Hub, while at night the illuminated building will serve as a lantern for the plaza and the office towers surrounding it. The roof of the hub's freestanding structure will be fitted with an operable skylight located along the central axis, which will be opened (weather permitting) on spring, summer and fall days, as well as each year on September 11th.
"In its revised state the project retains all of its fundamental beauty and functionality," said Calatrava. "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."