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Santiago Calatrava unveils World Trade Centre metro sculpture
VALENCIA-BASED architect Santiago Calatrava has just cut the red tape on his latest creation: the metro station in New York next to the World Trade Centre.
Admitting his 'pride and satisfaction' with his work, Calatrava hopes his state-of-the-art construction will be an 'anchor and engine for development' throughout the whole of downtown Manhattan.
The 'Oculus' differs greatly from the typical sky-scrapers seen in Manhattan Island's financial district, leaning more towards a wingspan-shaped double fan made from huge white steel beams.
It has already been described in the New York Times as 'a selfie attraction'.
Although the work has led to some controversy – going over budget by 100% and coming in at a cool US$4 billion – Calatrava says he hopes the people of New York will 'understand the heart and soul' which went into his work.
He says it is inspired by the classical-style Grand Central and Pensilvania stations.
Whilst the sculpture is complete and has been unveiled, the actual station is not yet in operation, but is expected to be open by April.
It will connect 11 metro lines, plus the mainline train to New Jersey, and will include direct entrances to the subway – or underground – from inside the World Trade Centre.
The station itself will house restaurants and entertainment venues, bars, and a shopping centre.
Santiago Calatrava's creations span several continents – his latest project is the Dubai Creek, set to be the second-tallest hotel in the United Arab Emirates capital after the Burj al-Khalifa – but he is best known in his home territory for being the brains behind the iconic City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.
This comprises Europe's largest aquarium, the Oceanogràfic; the covered Umbracle gardens; the Prince Felipe Science Museum; the Hemisfèric, where films of natural wonders are shown; the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, one of Spain's most splendid opera houses, opened in 2005; and the more recent Ágora stadium, which has been used several times to host the Open 500 international tennis tournament.
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