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9/11 Memorial Visions: Innovative Concepts from the 2003 World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition

04:30 - 26 September, 2016
9/11 Memorial Visions: Innovative Concepts from the 2003 World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition

More than a billion people watched the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction unfold on television, making it the greatest shared event in world history. Reflecting this fact, the 2003 World Trade Center Memorial Design Competition was open to anyone, drawing 5,201 entries from 60 countries, all of which were posted online.

Santiago Calatrava's Oculus Opens to the Sky in Remembrance of 9/11

16:00 - 12 September, 2016

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday, the skylights at Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus at the World Trade Center opened for the first time, allowing light to fill the massive space as a memorial to the attacks on the twin towers. Following the masterplan laid out by Daniel Libeskind, Calatrava’s design used the angle of light as a guiding principle for orienting the transportation hub – so that at precisely 10:28 am each September 11th (the time of the collapse of the North Tower), a beam of light would pass through the opening in the roof and project all the way down the center of the Oculus floor.

REX Reveals Design of Perelman Performing Arts Center at WTC in New York

16:25 - 8 September, 2016

REX has released images of the future Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center (The Perelman Center), located on the World Trade Center site in New York City. Located between the gleaming glass tower of One World Trade and the future Two World Trade Center, the Perelman Center takes on a solid, pure form as it is set to become a new home for theater, dance, music, film, opera, and multidisciplinary works for visitors and residents of Lower Manhattan.

© Luxigon © Luxigon © Luxigon © Luxigon +54

Gallery: Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub Photographed by Hufton+Crow

14:20 - 30 August, 2016
Gallery: Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub Photographed by Hufton+Crow, © Hufton+Crow
© Hufton+Crow

Hufton+Crow have shared with us their latest set of photographs: Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City. Hardly requiring an introduction, the spiky structure has opened in stages since last year to mixed critical response, with new retail spaces lining the central “Oculus” space debuting to the public earlier this month.

Continue on for the British duo’s photographic impressions of the ribbed structure.

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow +56

Breaking Down the Cost of Calatrava’s World Trade Center Oculus

08:00 - 2 May, 2016
Breaking Down the Cost of Calatrava’s World Trade Center Oculus, via The Real Deal
via The Real Deal

Twelve years after Santiago Calatrava revealed his design for the World Trade Center Oculus, the PATH station finally opened to the public in March. Although not officially confirmed by the Port Authority, the total cost of the Oculus is estimated to be nearly four billion dollars - almost double the original budget. The Real Deal has broken down the big-ticket costs that went into the making of the Oculus.

Gallery: Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

11:00 - 1 May, 2016
Gallery: Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Since it opened to the public two months ago, Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transportation Hub has been the subject of intense debate. Critics and the public alike have tried to answer whether the building, while undeniably unique and striking, was worth the $4 billion price tag that made it the world's most expensive train station. Key to this question's answer will be the way that the building settles into its role as a piece of the city's fabric.

With construction work still surrounding the building - both on the site itself and at the nearby skyscrapers - photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu turned his camera lens onto the station to see how it has been absorbed into the life of the city, capturing the way the structure is revealed from unexpected vantage points and showing how its users react to the sublime internal space of the "oculus."

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu +30

If You Haven't Seen Calatrava's World Trade Center Oculus In Person, This is Pretty Darn Close

14:00 - 10 March, 2016

If you haven't had the opportunity to step inside Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Oculus, here is your chance. Miguel de Guzmán of Imagen Subliminal has captured the incredible space in VR (Virtual Reality), granting you 360-degree views of the infamous oculus. Put on your Google Cardboard and see it for yourself

Video: Time-Lapse of Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Oculus

12:00 - 4 March, 2016

Santiago Calatrava's long-awaited World Trade Center Oculus has officially opened. Thanks to EarthCam and the project's contractor Skanska USA, you can watch the $4 billion transportation hub take shape over the course of 42 months in just 65 seconds, from June 2011 to December 2014. For more, see what the critics have to say about the newly opened building here

With the Opening of the WTC Transportation Hub, Has Santiago Calatrava Been Vindicated?

09:30 - 4 March, 2016
With the Opening of the WTC Transportation Hub, Has Santiago Calatrava Been Vindicated?, via WTC Progress
via WTC Progress

After 12 long years and a series of construction headaches, Santiago Calatrava’s $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub has finally opened to the public. Once widely regarded as a symbol of hope for post-9/11 New York, the project’s ballooning budget and security-related revisions gradually soured the opinions of the public and top design minds including Michael Graves and Peter Eisenman, and provoked a multitude of mocking nicknames ranging from “Calatrasaurus” to “squat hedgehog” to “kitsch dinosaur.” All the while, Calatrava urged critics to reserve their opinion until the project’s opening. Now that day has arrived - did Calatrava receive the vindication he was insistent would come? Read on for the critics’ takes.

Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub to Open Next Week

12:00 - 25 February, 2016
Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub to Open Next Week, via WTC Progress
via WTC Progress

Half of Santiago Calatrava's $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub is set to "quietly" open next week, according to a report by Crain's New York. Heavily criticized for being seven years overdue and twice its original cost, the public project has been labeled a "symbol of excess" by some and a "legacy project" by others. Despite the criticism, its 355-foot-long operable "Oculus" is "breathtaking" says New York Times reporter David Dunlap. 

“It is necessary,” Calatrava told Dunlap, “that public space prevail... A balance is struck at Grand Central Terminal, and it will be here." 

BIG's 2 World Trade Center Stalls After Fox Withdraws

14:00 - 19 January, 2016
BIG's 2 World Trade Center Stalls After Fox Withdraws, © DBOX, Courtesy of BIG
© DBOX, Courtesy of BIG

Two major tenants, 21st Century Fox and News Corp have pulled plans to relocate to the BIG-designed 2 World Trade Center - the final building planned for the 16 acre site. 2 WTC was unveiled last summer after news broke that BIG would be replacing Foster + Partners as the building's architect. According to a report on The Wall Street Journal, the two media companies based their decision on the high cost of relocating; they plan to stay in their current Midtown site until at least 2025.

The project will be placed on hold until a new tenant is found. 

This SOM Archive Video Offers a Look Back at the Early Days of 3D Visualization

09:30 - 10 December, 2015

Until recently, the only options for providing clients and the public with visualizations of what a prospective building would look like were almost exclusively hand drawn renderings, or scale models built by hand. Both of these practices are still in use today, but now there is a much wider range of options with 3D modeling software providing the bulk of renderings, the growing presence of 3D printing, and even video fly-throughs with special effects that rival the latest Hollywood action movie. This 16mm film created by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) in 1984, and digitized by illustrator Peter Little, reminded us of what the early days of digital 3D modeling looked like.

REX to Design World Trade Center Performing Arts Building in New York

11:41 - 20 November, 2015
REX to Design World Trade Center Performing Arts Building in New York, WTC site. Image © James Ewing OTTO
WTC site. Image © James Ewing OTTO

A commission that was originally set to be Frank Gehry's, Brooklyn-based REX has been selected to design The Performing Arts Center at New York's World Trade Center site - PACWTC. REX was chosen over finalists Henning Larsen Architects and UNStudio through a "rigorous invitational process" that focused on the practices' experience with similar projects, including REX's Dee and Chales Wyly Theater in Dallas, Seattle Public Library and Vakko Fashion Center in Istanbul.

"Throughout the architectural selection process, REX presented us with an inspired vision. Joshua [Prince-Ramus] totally blew us away with his innovative ideas about how to present cutting-edge culture, but also about how to make the PAC relate to everyone who comes to the WTC site," said PACWTC director and president Maggie Boepple.  

Leaking Water Becomes Latest Setback for the World Trade Center Hub

12:00 - 8 November, 2015
Leaking Water Becomes Latest Setback for the World Trade Center Hub, © Joe Woolhead
© Joe Woolhead

Adding to the controversy surrounding its construction, Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Hub - set to be the world’s most expensive transit hub with a now-estimated budget of $3.7 billion - has delayed its opening until the first half of 2016 due to leaking water, according to an article in The New York Times. The water, originating from the site of an office tower to-be at 3 World Trade Center has been traced back to workers constantly spraying water to handle dust while breaking up concrete, exposing the construction site of 3 World Trade Center to the elements. Though the centerpiece of the Hub, The Oculus, has nearly finished construction, several retail spaces of the Westfield World Trade Center luxury shopping centre have been affected by the leaking and the Westfield Corporation has decided to postpone the move-in of all stores until the problem has been fully addressed. Despite the problems, the Westfield Corporation remains optimistic of the final result that the Oculus will produce and are working aggressively to remedy the leaking.

Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been

09:30 - 21 September, 2015
Alternative Realities: 7 Radical Buildings That Could-Have-Been, Masterplan for the World Trade Center by Richard Meier & Partners, Eisenman Architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, and Steven Holl Architects. Image © Jock Pottle. Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Masterplan for the World Trade Center by Richard Meier & Partners, Eisenman Architects, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, and Steven Holl Architects. Image © Jock Pottle. Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects

In It’s A Wonderful Life the film’s protagonist George Bailey, facing a crisis of faith, is visited by his guardian angel, and shown an alternate reality where he doesn’t exist. The experience gives meaning to George’s life, showing him his own importance to others. With the increasing scale of design competitions these days, architectural “could-have-beens” are piling up in record numbers, and just as George Bailey's sense of self was restored by seeing his alternate reality, hypothesizing about alternative outcomes in architecture is a chance to reflect on our current architectural moment.

Today marks the one-year-anniversary of the opening of Phase 3 of the High Line. While New Yorkers and urbanists the world over have lauded the success of this industrial-utility-turned-urban-oasis, the park and the slew of other urban improvements it has inspired almost happened very differently. Although we have come to know and love the High Line of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations, in the original ideas competition four finalists were chosen and the alternatives show stark contrasts in how things might have shaped up.

On this key date for one of the most crucial designs of this generation, we decided to look back at some of the most important competitions of the last century to see how things might have been different.

Joseph Marzella's second-place design for the Sydney Opera House. Image via The Daily Mail Designs for the Chicago Tribune Tower by Adolf Loos (left) and Bruno Taut, Walter Gunther, and Kurz Schutz (right). Image via skyscraper.org Design for the High Line by Zaha Hadid Architects with Balmori Associates, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and studio MDA. Image via University of Adelaide on Cargo Collective Moshe Safdie's design for the Centre Pompidou. Image Courtesy of Safdie Architects +16

World Trade Center River Wall May Be Leaking

16:00 - 26 August, 2015
World Trade Center River Wall May Be Leaking, Snøhetta's entrance building, with one of Michael Arad's Memorial Fountains in the foreground. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO
Snøhetta's entrance building, with one of Michael Arad's Memorial Fountains in the foreground. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO

Sounds of rushing water have been reported behind the walls of the lower concourses of the World Trade Center site. As DNAinfo reports, rumors say officials have found an underground leak within the newly built complex and fear that it may be coming from the 3,200-foot-long slurry wall that separates the site from the Hudson River. 

Inside Santiago Calatrava's WTC Transportation Hub in New York

12:45 - 31 July, 2015
© Michael Muraz
© Michael Muraz

Toronto-based architectural photographer Michael Muraz has shared with us some of the first images seen inside Santiago Calatrava's nearly complete World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Set to open this year, the "glorious" birdlike structure boasts a 355-foot-long operable "Oculus" - a "slice of the New York sky - that floods the hub's interior with natural light, all the way down 60-feet below street level to the PATH train platform. 

Though its been shamed for being years overdue and $2 billion over budget (making it the world's most expensive transit hub), the completed project is turning heads. Take a look for yourself after the break. 

© Michael Muraz © Michael Muraz © Michael Muraz © Michael Muraz +10

How Bjarke Ingels is Reshaping New York City's Architecture

14:34 - 27 July, 2015

Bjarke Ingels has become know for his “promiscuous hybrids" that are reshaping skylines worldwide. Now, after news of BIG's redesign of the 2 World Trade Center, Ingels is being credited for single-handedly transforming New York City's architecture. At the New York Times' Cities of Tomorrow conference last week, architecture critic Michael Kimmelman sat down with the 40-year-old Danish architect to discuss just how BIG is changing New York