Oculus

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After 12 years of planning, designing, and construction, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened its doors. It looks a lot like a gleaming white bird in flight. The 800,000 square-foot structure is striking amidst the dark skyscrapers of New York City’s downtown Financial District.

The building could very well be a living creature. At least it’s described as one by architect Santiago Calatrava who designed the $4 billion skeletal structure after a bird released from a child’s hands. “I was trying to do something very light and atmospheric,” Calatrava told New York magazine back in March 2015. “Where the sky and the firmament is real.”

The steel ribs make up an elliptical dome, the oculus, while the spine of the building is a large, glass, retractable skylight that will open on temperate days and every September 11. The white steel railings and symmetrical curves are a signature of Calatrava’s.

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