When the World Trade Center towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, the train station below them was also destroyed. Now, the station has been redesigned, reconstructed and is set to open Thursday, March 3.
The $4 billion price tag makes the transportation hub the most expensive ever built, even topping construction costs of One World Trade Center, Gizmodo reports. When the project was first announced in 2004, it was expected to cost $2.2 billion and be completed by 2009.
With architecture by Santiago Calatrava, known for his striking sculptural designs, the new stark-white hub has soaring ceilings and numerous windows to fill the expansive below-ground hall with natural light, including a 350-foot-long skylight, according to the Wall Street Journal. The above-ground portion, called the Oculus, boasts immense ribbed wings modeled to conjure images of a dove.
In total, the structure used about 22,000 tons of steel, and much of that was for aesthetic appeal, critics say.
“I wanted to celebrate New York City, and those people who work so hard in it every single day . . . Maybe they live in very modest apartments, or work in a small cubicle,” Calatrava told Architectural Digest. “I want for them to suddenly arrive to the station by train and, twice a day, for 10 minutes or so, stand before an immaculately fashioned station that was built just for them.”