One of the last pieces of the World Trade Center puzzle is making progress in earnest. The St. Nicholas National Shrine, designed by World Trade Center Transportation Hub architect Santiago Calatrava, is now more than just a few renderings, as the Times reports that the Greek Orthodox Church and nondenominational bereavement center's foundation has been poured and its base formwork is in place. Construction on the $35 million domed structure is expected to take two years.
"We have to have a masterpiece of architecture," Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox church in America, told the Times on a recent site tour, "It has to be the best." To achieve such a status, Calatrava designed a church of white Pentelic marblefrom the same vein in Greece used to construct the Parthenonthat will glow softly at night but appear solid during the day. The building has drawn unflattering comparisons to a "pumpkin sitting in a box," but is inspired by Istanbul's Hagia Sophia.
The church is a small project compared to its other World Trade Center neighbors, but is one of the more complicated at the site owing in part to its relocation in the WTC's master plan. Formerly situated at 155 Cedar Street, the church has been moved to the east end of Liberty Park.
[Rendering by Santiago Calatrava LLC via the NYT.]
· Church, Rising at Trade Center Site, Will Glow Where Darkness Fell [NYT]
· Calatrava's Church Near Ground Zero Reveals More Renders [Curbed]
· All St. Nicholas Church coverage [Curbed]