The Oculus, a new train station in New York City (NYC, USA) is a remarkable landmark. The station opens in March 2016. Although it is not fully completed, it starts already its services as a connection hub between New Jersey’s PATH trains and New York City’s subways. There will be shops and restaurants inside the Oculus that make it a combination of a shopping center and transportation hub. A perfect hub for commuters.
Sincerely, I had not known of the Oculus in New York until I visited the 9/11 Memorial Site. When passing the unfinished complex of the Oculus, I thought the design reminded me of a Spanish architect whose works mostly in modern and futuristic design, Santiago Calatrava. And, yup, the Oculus is his masterpiece. The architecture design of the Oculus has his trademark that reminds me to some of his works such as Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences and The Zubizuri Bridge in Bilbao. I returned to the complex of Oculus on the following day to enter the building because I love Calatrava’s unusual design and I should not miss it when in New York!
Following are some interesting facts about the Oculus that I gathered from news media:
- It took 12 years to open the Oculus finally in 2016, that included the seven years of delay in the plan, design, and construction.
- The Oculus costs $4 billion! It was perhaps the world’s most expensive train station as suggested here.
- The Oculus is the third largest train station in New York City after the Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station.
- It is projected that the station will be used by 250,000 daily commuters and millions of annual visitors from around the world.
- Calavatra’s design idea of the Oculus conveys a bird spreads its wings to take the flight.
The Oculus is located in the complex of World Trade Center. At this moment, the Oculus NYC entrance can be accessed through 4 World Trade Center from Liberty Street. Nearest metro train (subway) stations are Cortland St., Fulton St. and Chambers Street.
I was lucky that during my visit, the Oculus was almost empty, except few visitors and security guards. At the same time, I found it as a weird situation since the outside of the Oculus was quite busy with the tourists who were going to visit the 9/11 Memorial Site. I am not sure whether the tourists were aware or not about this new landmark, but if you were in New York City, do take your time to visit this impressive building. Like Scott Heins had reported in his article, it’s a new Selfie Mecca in NYC.