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NY Officials Unveil Design for WTC Transportation Hub - 2004-01-22


New York officials have unveiled a light-filled and open design for a new transportation hub at the site of the former World Trade Center. City officials envision the new $2 billion facility as a gateway to lower Manhattan.

Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava says his design was inspired by the idea of a child releasing a bird. In architectural drawings for the new train station, almost transparent soaring arcs intersect over a steel and glass dome, giving the appearance of a bird's wings.

Mr. Calatrava continues the "wedge of light" theme that is planned for the new buildings at the site, with a retractable roof allowing natural light to reach train platforms 18 meters below.

Mr. Calatrava says his focus on light and open space reflects both the tragedy of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the city's sprit of renewal.

"The lightness that you will experience in the building, the idea of rising up off the ground, the idea of lightness and transparency," he said. "Bringing the light down onto the tracks has a content, a symbolism in itself. It is a response of our culture to the tragedy. It is a response of hope."

Mr. Calatrava has designed bridges, buildings, and transportation facilities around the world, as well as the stadium for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The transportation center will serve commuter railways, 14 subway lines and buses, and will include a concourse that connects to a nearby ferry terminal.

It will not be completed until 2007 at the earliest. A temporary station for commuter trains opened two months ago.

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