10 Things to Know About NYC’s New World Trade Center Transportation Hub by Santiago Calatrava

World Trade Center Transportation Hub-Oculus-Opening-NYC-003

Last Thursday, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (also known as the Oculus) soft opened to the public. Most of the media’s coverage has focused on the controversy over the station, but today, we’re sharing fun facts about its construction and the things to look out for on a visit.

1. The Steel Used To Make the Oculus Is So Unique, It Could Only Be Made by Four Firms in the World

Oculus Soft Opening, Match 2016

Architect Santiago Calatrava is known for his soaring, bending forms, and only four firms in the world, all located outside the United States, were capable of manufacturing it. As The New York Times reported, the World Trade Center Hub utilized “sculptural and curvilinear steel elements that could only practicably be manufactured abroad.” One third of the 36,500 tons of steel was made in a northern Italian factory. Another factory was located in Spain. 612,300 hours of work by 140 ironworkers were required to complete the steel work.

World Trade Center-WTC-Calatrava Transportation Hub-NYC-ConstructionThe Oculus under construction

The steel was shipped 4,700 miles by boat and brought into New York City through the port at Red Hook. In total, the steel for the station cost $474 million and weighed 36,500 tons. The steel arrived in 588 pieces, which had to be put together piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle. 2,225 welds hold the whole thing together.

Calatrava Transportation Hub-Bird-WTC-NYC-Construction_6The oculus under construction

World Trade Center Transportation Hub-Oculus-Opening-NYC-006Wings, completed

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5 Responses
  1. RAKEESHA WRIGLEY Reply

    Good morning Michelle!
    I would like to know how you found the price of the steel at the Oculus?

  2. Johann Mesa Reply

    Sorry, I’m confused, there are two numbers for steel used, 36,500 and 11,500; both used as totals, maybe I’m reading incorrectly, could someone clarify?

  3. Paul Kittas Reply

    The station you are showing is the Calatrava Path HUB. The Oculus is the Fulton Street Station with a single opening in the top that allows light to go down 3 stories into the building.

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