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9 11

World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus Designed in Remembrance of 9/11

12:00 - 11 September, 2018
World Trade Center Transportation Hub Oculus Designed in Remembrance of 9/11, World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow
World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow

The opening of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub's Oculus will take a rain check on the 17th anniversary of 9/11, according to Steve Coleman, a spokesperson for the Port Authority. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the 335-foot-long skylight was designed to allow the “Way of Light” to pass through the main hub of the transit hall at 10:28 a.m.—the moment that the North Tower of the WTC collapsed on September 11, 2001. Symbolizing the light that continues to shine through after the darkness of the tragedy, the Oculus opening allows light to fill the massive space as a memorial to the attacks on the twin towers.

World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Image © Hufton + Crow + 8

Construction Halts on Calatrava's St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center

12:00 - 12 December, 2017
Construction Halts on Calatrava's St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center, The St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center as seen in May 2017. Image © Flickr user rexblog. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
The St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center as seen in May 2017. Image © Flickr user rexblog. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Construction on the Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center has halted, after the church failed to make a series of payments over a several month period to contractor Skanska.

As revealed by the Pappas Post, last week the construction company distributed a letter to its subcontractors informing them that the building contract had been terminated after The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America defaulted on making payment. In the letter, Skanska directed subcontractors to stop all work and to remove all tools and materials from the site, or risk not being able to recover them.

93-Foot-Tall “Tower of Voices” to Commemorate 9/11 Victims with Wind Chime Soundscape

12:15 - 11 September, 2017
93-Foot-Tall “Tower of Voices” to Commemorate 9/11 Victims with Wind Chime Soundscape, Courtesy of Arup
Courtesy of Arup

Sixteen years after the tragic events of 9/11, the final major element of the Flight 93 National Memorial has been revealed.

Located in rural in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the memorial commemorates the 40 passengers who sacrificed their own lives to wrest control away from the hijackers of United Flight 93, preventing the plane from hitting its intended target of the United States Capitol Building.

In 2009, Paul Murdoch Architects, in collaboration with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Arup Engineering, was selected to design the national memorial at the crash site. Employing a reverent masterplan that traced the airplane’s final movements, the architects designed a series of reflective elements as a solemn reminder of the day’s events. All of these elements have since been completed, with the exception of the plan’s most sensory landmark, the 93-foot-tall “Tower of Voices.”

Calatrava's St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center Tops Out

13:20 - 29 November, 2016
Calatrava's St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center Tops Out, via Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center
via Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center

The Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center has topped out, and capped with a temporary, six-foot-tall cross.

The Byzantine-styled structure was envisioned by Calatrava in 2013 as a non-denominational spiritual center to replace the original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, located at 155 Cedar Street, which was destroyed on 9/11.

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 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.

Video: Santiago Calatrava On His Design For Ground Zero's Only Non-Secular Building

00:00 - 9 January, 2015

In a film for the BBC Magazine, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava talks through his designs for the new St. Nicholas Church - the only non-secular building on the 9/11 Memorial site. The building, which broke ground last year, has been described by Calatrava as a "tiny jewel" for lower Manhattan, comprising of a white Vermont marble shrine sat beneath a translucent central cupola that is illuminated from within. The new church, of Greek Orthodox denomination, replaces a church of the same name which was destroyed during the attacks of . It is sited close to its original location on 130 Liberty Street, overlooking the National September 11 Memorial park and museum. With the building set to open in early 2016, Calatrava discusses the key conceptual ideas and references behind its unique, controversial design.

New York’s $4 Billion Train Station Takes Shape

00:00 - 2 December, 2014
New York’s $4 Billion Train Station Takes Shape, Screenshot. Image © Bedel Saget/The New York Times
Screenshot. Image © Bedel Saget/The New York Times

Santiago Calatrava’s head-turning World Trade Center Transportation Hub has assumed its full form, nearly a decade after its design was revealed. In light of this, the New York Times has taken a critical look at just how the winged station’s budget soared. “Its colossal avian presence may yet guarantee the hub a place in the pantheon of civic design in New York. But it cannot escape another, more ignominious distinction as one of the most expensive and most delayed train stations ever built.” The complete report, here.

Kimmelman Reviews the One WTC: An Emblem of New York’s “Upside-Down Priorities”

00:00 - 1 December, 2014
Kimmelman Reviews the One WTC: An Emblem of New York’s “Upside-Down Priorities” , One WTC. Image © James Ewing OTTO
One WTC. Image © James Ewing OTTO

Nearly a month since the official (and somewhat mundane) opening of New York’s One World Trade Center, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has published a scathing review of the SOM-designed tower, claiming it to be a “flawed” emblem of the city’s “upside-down priorities.”

Video: A Conversation with the Architects of the 9/11 Memorial Museum

00:00 - 23 November, 2014

"Typically, museums are icons that contain exhibits. This is the inverse: the exhibit is the icon." 

Video: Snøhetta on Designing the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion

00:00 - 15 November, 2014

"So in some ways I think that this tragedy gave a sense of purpose to people that was very positive, and we tried to translate that feeling into this building." In this video from the Louisiana Channel, Craig Dykers of Snøhetta describes how his own experience with the events of 9/11 and the positivity of the spirit of people around him helped inspire the design process of the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion.

He speaks of the journey of healing and understanding as central to the design and experience of the building itself. "As you move through these cycles, you realize one day that you are alive, and you that have to present the strength of being alive to those around you, and this building is meant to be a part of that cycle…to allow you to see yourself, at a moment in time."

Watch the video above to learn more about the challenges of designing a memorial museum fully integrated within an essentially nonexistent site. 

Santiago Calatrava Breaks Ground on Church at 9/11 Memorial Site

00:00 - 30 October, 2014
Santiago Calatrava Breaks Ground on Church at 9/11 Memorial Site, © Santiago Calatrava
© Santiago Calatrava

Construction has begun on Santiago Calatrava’s Saint Nicholas National Shrine on the World Trade Center site in New York. A “tiny jewel” for lower Manhattan, as referred by Calatrava, the white Vermont marble shrine will be based around a translucent central Cupola that illuminates from within.

More images and an updated construction image of Calatrava's neighboring transportation hub, after the break.

Critical Round-Up: The September 11 Memorial Museum

00:00 - 16 May, 2014
Critical Round-Up: The September 11 Memorial Museum, Two salvaged columns from the towers, placed inside Snøhetta's entrance building. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO
Two salvaged columns from the towers, placed inside Snøhetta's entrance building. Image © Jeff Goldberg / ESTO

Set to open to the public on Wednesday after a highly controversial and contested journey from idea to reality, the September 11 Memorial Museum has inevitably been a talking point among critics this week. The museum by Davis Brody Bond occupies the space between the Memorial Plaza at ground level and the bedrock below, with an angular glass pavilion by Snøhetta providing an entrance from above. A long ramp, designed to recall the access ramp with which tons of twisted metal was excavated from the site, descends to the exhibits which sit within the perimeter boundaries of the twin towers' foundations, underneath the suspended volumes of Michael Arad's memorial fountains.

The content of the museum is obviously fraught with painful memories, and the entrance pavilion occupies a privileged position as the only surface level structure ground zero, in opposition to the great voids of the memorial itself. The discussion at the opening of the museum was therefore always going to center on whether the design of the museum - both its built form and the exhibitions contained - were sensitive and appropriate enough for this challenging brief. Read the critics' takes on the results after the break.

9/11 Memorial Museum / Davis Brody Bond

00:00 - 21 March, 2014
9/11 Memorial Museum / Davis Brody Bond, Design Study for Foundation Hall featuring the Last Column. Image © Red Square Design
Design Study for Foundation Hall featuring the Last Column. Image © Red Square Design

With completion in sight (May 2014), Davis Brody Bond has released detailed information on the design of the subterranean 9/11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan. Located beneath the sculptural voids that form the 9/11 Memorial, the new museum has transformed a fixed set of geometric constraints into an emotional journey that gently descends visitors 70 feet below the ground level to the original foundations of the World Trade Center towers.

Calatrava Reveals Design for Church on 9/11 Memorial Site

00:00 - 13 November, 2013
Calatrava Reveals Design for Church on 9/11 Memorial Site, Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen
Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen

The site of 9/11 has seen significant change in the last decade, from the addition of David Childs’s redesign of the One World Trade Center to Santiago Calatrava’s PATH station. It looks like the site’s transformation is set to continue - Calatrava recently revealed images of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, to be rebuilt across Liberty Street from Handel Architects’ September 11 Memorial. The images, showing a distinctly Orthodox Christian design, have already begun to attract criticism in the debate over placing religious institutions around the World Trade Center.

Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen Courtesy of Tribeca Citizen + 10

Time-Lapse: One World Trade Center

22:31 - 11 September, 2013

On the twelfth anniversary of September 11th, we would like to share with you this incredible time-lapse capturing the progress of the One World Trade Center between October 2004 and September 2013. The 1,776 foot tall skyscraper, which is expected to be the tallest in Western Hemisphere, topped out earlier this year and is slated for completion in 2014.

Time-Lapse: One World Trade Center

21:31 - 11 September, 2013

On the twelfth anniversary of September 11th, we would like to share with you this incredible time-lapse capturing the progress of the One World Trade Center between 2004 and 2013. The 1,776 foot tall skyscraper, which is expected to be the tallest in Western Hemisphere, topped out earlier this year and is slated for completion in 2014.

I Wept But About What I Cannot Say: Martin Filler's Moving Tribute to Michael Arad's 9/11 Memorial

01:00 - 13 August, 2013
North Pool looking Southeast. Image © Joe Woolhead
North Pool looking Southeast. Image © Joe Woolhead

Beginning with Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stamford White and concluding with Michael Arad, Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II examines the people behind the work at the forefront of 20th and early 21st century architecture. Critic Martin Filler masterfully integrates each person’s unique biography and distinctive character into the architectural discussion. Here is his revealing profile of Michael Arad, the young architect whose design for the National September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero brought him into the national spotlight. It was originally published on Metropolis Mag's Point of View Blog.

I wept but about what precisely I cannot say. When I first visited Michael Arad’s newly completed National September 11 Memorial of 2003–2011 at Ground Zero, which was dedicated on the tenth anniversary of the disaster—the ubiquitous maudlin press coverage of which I had done everything possible to ignore—it impressed me at once as a sobering, disturbing, heartbreaking, and overwhelming masterpiece. Arad’s inexorably powerful, enigmatically abstract pair of abyss-like pools, which demarcate the foundations of the lost Twin Towers, came as an immense surprise to those of us who doubted that the chaotic and desultory reconstruction of the World Trade Center site could yield anything of lasting value.

Yet against all odds and despite tremendous opposition from all quarters, the design by the Israeli-American Arad—an obscure thirty-four-year-old architect working for a New York City municipal agency when his starkly Minimalist proposal, Reflecting Absence, was chosen as the winner from among the 5,201 entries to the Ground Zero competition—became the most powerful example of commemorative architecture since Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial of 1981–1982 in Washington, D.C.