Rising from the ashes nearly 15 years after its destruction is the long-awaited World Trade Center Transportation Hub, Oculus. The Financial District’s newest icon opened its doors — or should we say, wings — to New Yorkers this past Thursday. With its distinguished shape that very obviously resembles the skeleton of a bird in flight, Oculus quickly became the most Instagrammed photo in all of New York City over the weekend.
While FiDi’s newest transportation hub’s opening marks a major milestone in the completion of reconnecting downtown Manhattan after 9/11 (the public will now be able to access 11 subway lines, PATH trains to all New Jersey stations, and the Battery Park City ferry terminal), New Yorkers have been buzzing about the outcome of the incredibly ambitious architectural design of the hub itself. Standing 274 feet tall at its apex with a 330-foot-long operable skylight, Oculus is truly an immaculate-looking space; some are even referring to it as the Cathedral of Transport.
Designed by Spanish-born architect Santiago Calatrava, it’s a symbol of flight that simultaneously pays homage to all those lost on September 11th. Calatrava said in an interview that Oculus “is much more than a station. New Yorkers should take this and, I hope, use it with all of their forces and an enormous intensity because it has been done for them.” He also noted that he wanted people to easily be able to find their way around the hub, and feel a sense of safety and security in its design and guidance.
See the 42-month construction of Oculus in a 1-minute time lapse, and hear more about its incredible creation from Calatrava, below: