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Calatrava Unveils Plan for World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Rendering of the WTC Transportation Hub

Architect Santiago Calatrava today unveiled his soaring plan for the World Trade Center transportation hub, which will connect PATH, NYC subway, ferry and transporation to airports.

The presentation featured slides, models, videos and the world-reknowned architect sketching his inspiration. It closed with a standing ovation.

Calatrava's building is topped with 150 foot high, wing-like glass and steel roof, kept in place with copious ridged arches.

Inside it will feature roughly 200,000 square feet of retail, open space and train platform. The white concrete interior will be infused almost completely with daylight. It includes first balconies, then a column-free grand pavilion and, finally, train platforms on the lowest level.

The roof, described Calatrava, will be able to move with a hydraulic system to help cool it in the summer. The movement also has symbolic meaning, he said, enabling the building to open like the wings of a bird or a phoenix rising from the ashes.

"It will be a brilliant light in the middle of the city," he said.

The design, he added, is built along Daniel Libeskind's proposed "Wedge of Light," dedicated to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack.

The design for the Port Authority of NY and NJ's new station essentially completes the initial planning process for the World Trade Center site. It follows the unveiling of the Freedom Tower and the World Trade Center Memorial. The station is a joint effort between Calatrava with DMJM + Harris and STV Group Inc. It will serve about a quarter of a million people a day, the port authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said.

The hub is expected to begin passenger service in late 2006 and be completed in late 2008/early 2009.

Sam Lubell