Sunday, March 6, 2016

In Awe of the Oculus

Jutting into the blue sky and reflected into the wavy blue glass of the modern skyscrapers surrounding it shines the brilliant white spine of the Oculus.  Somehow, the structure manages to appear part T-Rex, part whale, part dove, and all sci-fi, while being truly magnificent.  It isn't the set for a new Transformers movie though - it's the new transit hub at the World Trade Center designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava for the bargain price of $3.7 billion (that's right, billion, with a "b").

The Oculus under construction.
Source: New York Times
Although the area around the Oculus is still under construction, the Oculus officially opened in early March 2016.  Eventually, the Oculus will function as part of a massive transit hub that connects One World Trade Center to the PATH trains (to New Jersey). lower Manhattan subway lines, and the new MTA station at Fulton Street.  For now, it's an Instagrammer's paradise (you have to admit though that some of these shots are really, really cool).  After seeing a friend's post of the structure, I decided to go downtown and see what the big deal was.  My verdict: it might have cost a pretty penny (or $3.7 billion dollars' worth of pretty pennies), but the Oculus is a damn cool piece of architecture.  Here are some of my shots from my first trip - I love the black and white contrasts within the structure.

Reflections of the Oculus in the Millennium Hotel across the street.

You can see Freedom Tower through the Oculus' retractable skylight.

Buildings surrounding the Oculus.

Entering the Oculus.

The ceiling above the MTA entrance.
The shadows look like a whale's fluke moving through the water.

My favorite shot.  In the West Concourse.

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