Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Budget Impacting Calatrava Design

Back in January of 2004, Santiago Calatrava unveiled his design for the transportation hub to be built at the World Trade Center site. Of all the architects who were given pieces of the site to design (the buildings, the memorial), it seemed that the transportation hub was the least exciting because it basically linked transportation below ground. In the skillful hands of Santiago Calatrava, however, his design turned out to be one of the most exciting of the entire complex endeavor. He proposed to open the space to light from above and cap it above ground with one of his signature white skeletal forms.

Now, four years later, with budgets getting tight, he is having to cut back on key features of his original plan. The upper structure had been designed to open and close but will now be stationary. Some of the skylights will not be included so not as much light will penetrate down into the subway station.

I have heard it said that Frank Lloyd Wright was the premiere architect of the first half of the 20th century; Frank Gehry dominated the second half of the 20th century; and Santiago Calatrava just might be the premiere architect of the first half of the 21st century. Time and fortune will tell, but looking at Calatrava's designs surely makes him seem like a true architect for the 21st century.

The transportation hub will sit at the northeast corner of the site at Church and Vesey Streets and is expected to form an underground connection between the World Financial Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposed Fulton Street Transit Center. Through it, pedestrians will have access to Hudson River ferry terminals, PATH trains, 14 subway lines, and, potentially, a direct rail link to JFK International Airport. By 2020, the Port Authority expects the hub to serve 250,000 commuters and visitors daily.

1 comment:

houser said...

What world are y'all living in? THE architect for the 21st century will be the one or ones who can provide shelter and dignity for the World's Majorities, the Ancient and Newest Poor. Such elegant Medieval structures as these are losing their Patrons, and like the Gothic Cathedrals of their time, will become the interesting artifacts of the future.
Many, like Beauvais and the Foster Tower in Moscow, half finished.