Calatrava on the state of NYC architecture & his own controversial World Trade projects

The World Trade Center site. (Courtesy Port Authority)

The World Trade Center site. (Courtesy Port Authority)

The Real Deal recently scored an interview with Santiago Calatrava, the so-called “symphonist of steel” behind the upcoming (and wildly over budget) World Trade Center Transit Hub, and the nearby Saint Nicholas Church. In the interview, Calatrava explained how New York City’s building code impacted the two projects’ designs, offers his thoughts on the World Trade Center master plan, and comments on the construction quality of the Transit Hub. Overall, the controversial architect lavishes praise on just about everyone—from Daniel Libeskind to Larry Silverstein to the Port Authority.

Were the World Trade Center Transit Hub’s lateral struts part of the original Calatrava design?

Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub. (William Menking / AN)

Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub. (William Menking / AN)

 

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub—or as its designer Santiago Calatrava likes to think of it, the “bird in flight”—is just blocks from AN‘s office, so we get to walk by and watch it try to take off regularly. But in the weeks before the holidays, odd “struts” started to be welded between the structure’s giant fins or blades.

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Eavesdrop> One Rat Center

East, Eavesdroplet, Skyscrapers
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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one-rat-center

(Michael Tapp / Flickr; Montage by AN)

 

Speaking of One World Trade, Condé Nast’s highly publicized move-in did not go entirely as planned. According to Gawker, Vogue, which is occupying floors 25 and 26, had to delay the relocation of its editorial department due to an infestation of rats. The rodent problem was evidently so dire that the fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, a one Anna Wintour, went so far as to issue an order to her staff that they must ensure her office is a rat-free zone before she sets foot inside.

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Eavesdrop> Not My Spire: Sculptor wants no connection to World Trade topper

(Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

(Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

Sculptor Kenneth Snelson is tired of having his name all over the derided spire atop One World Trade Center. It has been widely reported that Snelson consulted with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on the 441-foot-tall spire that brings the tower to its highly symbolic height of 1,776 feet. But he said he was only peripherally involved in the early stages of the design and is not all that connected to what now towers above Lower Manhattan. Snelson said everyone involved in the design of the spire had the best intentions, but as for its final iteration, he’s no fan. “I don’t know why somebody doesn’t decide, ‘well, we should remove the spire,’” he said.

This beautiful photo of Lower Manhattan won SOM’s World Trade Center photo contest

Architecture, Awards, East, Skyscrapers
Thursday, December 11, 2014
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(Gerry Padden / Courtesy SOM)

(Gerry Padden / Courtesy SOM)

While the critics sure don’t like it, many other casual observers are big fans of Lower Manhattan‘s World Trade Center. This morning, SOM announced the winner its #WelcomeOneWTC photography contest it held to mark the grand opening of New York City’s latest controversy-laden skyscraper.

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Here’s how Santiago Calatrava’s New York City transit hub got its enormous $4 billion price tag

Architecture, Development, East
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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Final rafter being installed on the Hub's Oculus. (Courtesy Port Authority)

Final rafter being installed on the Hub’s Oculus. (Courtesy Port Authority)

With the final rafter installed on Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub the New York Times has done a deep-dive on how, exactly, the long-delayed structure ended up costing close to $4 billion. While the hub ultimately looks more like a stegosaurus than a dove taking flight, as Calatrava originally envisioned, it is undeniably a head-turning piece of dramatic architecture. But one that will be forever grounded by the reality of its staggering price tag.

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Kimmelman says “flawed” One World Trade is a “cautionary tale”

One World Trade. (Flickr/ gigi_nyc)

One World Trade. (Flickr/ gigi_nyc)

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has weighed-in on 1 World TradeNew York‘s tallest,most superlative, open-but-not-yet-completed skyscraper. And, spoiler, he is no fan. Kimmelman’s piece is so chock-full of quotable critiques, it’s hard to decide where exactly to begin. But let’s start with the politics.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> One World Trade Center officially opens its doors

photo 3 (13)

One World Trade. (Henry Melcher / AN)

After years of delays and nearly $4 billion in costs, One World Trade Center is officially open. Earlier today, about 175 Condé Nast employees walked past a scrum of reporters and into the SOM-designed tower where the media company has leased 24 floors. By early next year, Condé Nast is expected to have all of its 3,400 employees within the building. Still, less than 60 percent of the 1,776-foot-tall tower has been leased.

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Archtober Building of the Day #25> 4 World Trade Center by Fumihiko Maki

Architecture, East, Skyscrapers
Monday, October 27, 2014
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(Benjamin Kracauer)

Archtober Building of the Day
4 World Trade Center
150 Greenwich Street
Maki and Associates

Located along the western edge of Memorial Plaza, 4 World Trade Center by Maki and Associates is part of the Studio Libeskind master plan for the World Trade Center being developed by Silverstein Properties. This weekend, Archtober crowds toured the building.

Continue reading after the jump.

Archtober Building of the Day #8> National September 11 Memorial Museum

Architecture, East
Thursday, October 9, 2014
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(Eve Dilworth Rosen)

Archtober Building of the Day #8
National September 11 Memorial Museum
Liberty Street, Manhattan
Davis Brody Bond

The space is cavernous. Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial Museum are confronted, upon arrival, with their own memories, and the collective recall of a day unlike any other.

Continue reading after the jump.

Port Authority asks store to stop selling merchandise with New York City skyline

The Twin Towers printed on Fishs Eddy's "212" collection. (Courtesy Fishs Eddy)

The Twin Towers printed on Fishs Eddy’s “212” collection. (Courtesy Fishs Eddy)

In what may or may not be performance art, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey—an organization charged with overseeing the region’s bridges, tunnels, and airports—recently told Fishs Eddy—a small home goods store in Manhattan—that printing a pre-9/11 New York City skyline rendered in cartoon-like drawings on its merchandise was of “great concern.” Specifically, the authority would like the store to immediately stop selling all mugs, plates, bowls, and dish towels that depict any of its “assets” including the Twin Towers, One World Trade Center, and even the tunnels Holland and Lincoln.

Continue reading after the jump.

Photo of the Day: Final Segment of Calatrava’s NYC Transit Hub Arch Set In Place

Santiago Calatrava's World Trade Center Transit Hub. (Courtesy AN Tipster)

Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transit Hub. (Courtesy AN Tipster)

A tipster shared with us the above view of Santiago Calatrava‘s World Trade Center Transit Hub receiving the final piece of its giant steel arch. According to the tipster, “they JUST set the final tooth on the World Trade Center Transit Hub to complete the supporting structural system. Once welding is complete they will proceed with installing the “wings,” the cantilevered outriggers that complete the structural form.” Looks like this thing is about to soar.

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