Oculus New York: how to visit Calatrava's impressive work and the Westfield World Trade Center

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Martí Micolau
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Il World Trade Center Transportation Hub, commonly called Oculus, has become one of the icons of New York thanks to its eclecticism, grandeur and the symbolic value it evokes with its particular shape: a white dove that is about to take off free.

The location of this station, today among the most visited in Manhattan, is no coincidence: it is located between tower 2 and tower 3 of the World Trade Center and was built where, after 11 September 2001, there were only rubble. So it really is a symbol of rebirth for New York and its citizens.



Index

  • Where is it and how to get there
  • World Trade Center Transportation Hub: information and curiosities
  • Westfield World Trade Center

Where is it and how to get there

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is located at 185 on Greenwich Street and it is practically the perfect point to arrive in the area that was called Ground Zero after the 11/9 attacks and to visit the 11/9 Museum, the 11/XNUMX Memorial and the Freedom Tower.

Being a station you will not have difficulty reaching it by public transport. The station serves as a terminal for the trainee PATH - Port Authority Trans-Hudson, connecting the southern part of Manhattan with the cities of Newark, Harrison, Hoboken and Jersey City.

The Hub is directly connected to the following New York subway stations:

  • WTC Cortlandt (line 1)
  • Chambers Street (lines A and C)
  • World Trade Center (line E)
  • Park Place (lines 2 and 3)
  • Cortlant Street (line N, R e W)

Also, through the passage called West concourse, you can reach Brookfield Place and the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal.



World Trade Center Transportation Hub: information and curiosities

The project was born from the mind and genius of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The station hosts 11 lines of the subway, i trainee PATH (connecting New York to New Jersey and other neighboring towns), and theHudson Ferry Terminal.

The Oculus inauguration took place in March 2016. A cost of over $ 4 billion e 12 years of works have provoked various criticisms, but the work undoubtedly leaves you speechless both while admiring it from the outside, and once inside it. The blinding and enveloping white, the play of natural light and its grandeur give those who enter it for the first time a feeling of purity and majesty that few other architectural works in the world provoke.

The glass vault allows sunlight to enter and at the highest point reaches approx 50 meters in height. The Spanish white marble floor reflects the light that filters from above allowing a good brightness even on the darkest days. In the evening, an ad hoc lighting system makes the work even more impressive.

The central window, on the back of the dove looking from the outside, allows those who are inside to admire the tower of the One Trade Center. In addition, direct sunlight enters from an opening in the vault on 11 September at 10.28: this is the date and time when the second of the twin towers fell in 2001.

In addition to being the main station in Lower Manhattan, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub is home to the largest shopping mall in New York: the Westfield World Trade Center: the largest shopping mall in New York.



Westfield World Trade Center

The shopping center was inaugurated on 16 August 2016 Westfield World Trade Center. It is located inside the World Trade Center Transportation Hub and stretches for almost 34.000 square meters.


Before 2001 in the same location was the World Trade Center Mall, about 20.000 square meters, also owned by the Westfield family. The attacks and the collapse of the towers caused the destruction of part of the shopping center and subsequently its flooding due to the abundant use of water to put out the fires.

Today the Westfield World Trade Center is home to major stores such as Apple, Banana Republic, Bose, Hugo Boss, Pandora, Dior, Fossil, Havaianas, H&M, Kate Spade New York, Lacoste, L'Occitane, Sephora, Sketchers, Tissot, UGG and Victoria's Secret. Also, if you are visiting the World Trade Center and do not know where to eat, inside the mall you will find many restaurants and take away such as Eataly, Shake Shack, Pret A Manger, The Great American Bagel & Bakery, Wasabi Sushi & Bento, Wetzel's Pretzels. It is definitely a must visit if you are wondering where to shop in New York.


The shopping center is open every day at the following times:

  • Monday to Saturday from 10: 00 to 20: 00
  • Sunday from 10: 00 to 19: 00

However, it is possible that the individual shops and restaurants have different hours, the invitation is therefore to also check the official website to avoid any nasty surprises.

From the shopping center you can also access the One World Observatory, the observatory at 381 meters high which is located inside the One World Trade Center, the tallest skyscraper in the Western world (541 meters). Open from 10am to 00pm, the ticket costs $ 20 and it goes without saying that the view of Lower Manhattan is breathtaking.

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