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
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.
The 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.
The oculus under construction