THE NEW lavish Transportation Hub in Lower Manhattan, designed by a Spaniard, has officially opened to the public. The hub replaces the PATH train station which was destroyed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The creation of this architectural masterpiece has taken over 12 years. Some have criticised the new train station as a symbol of both governmental waste and architectural excess.
The centrepiece of the Hub is the Oculus, a steel and glass structure designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, from Valencia, intended to look like a dove in flight. Calatrava is also famous for the large domed Valencia Opera house, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències.
Other critics have criticised the Hub for its massive cost overruns ($4 billion in public money) and lack of any traditional train station features such as ticket machines, clocks, maps. However, many believe it is a significant building representing freedom and ambitious design.