Newly opened WTC PATH train station criticized for design

Architect Santiago Calatrava blames cost-cutting measures for "cheap" appearance

New York /
Mar.March 05, 2014 06:00 PM

A section of the new PATH train station beneath the World Trade Center, open to the public for less than a week, is already under fire for its design.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sought to model the underground transit hub after Grand Central Terminal, but the New York Times’ David Dunlap opines that the station does not live up to its expectations, calling the building’s fixtures “clunky” and the workmanship “rough.”

Architect Santiago Calatrava, meanwhile, has distanced himself from the $4 billion project, claiming he mostly designed the steel support structure and the marble floors.

“We have fought to bring the highest degree of quality to the project,” Frank Lotrino, another employee at Calatrava’s firm, told the Times, “but the concerns of time, budget and scheduling have often taken precedence over quality.”

The rest of the plan was drawn up by a partnership between architectural and engineering firms STV and Aecom. The station’s columns are not as seamless, nor the ceiling as sculptural as they appear in the renderings, Dunlap writes, because of compromises the firm made to reduce costs and necessary amenities like security cameras and smoke exhaust grills.

It is unclear whether the design will affect the value of the retail space within the hub, which is currently estimated at $550 per square foot[NYT] Angela Hunt


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