It's been a rocky road, but Lower Manhattan now has a brand new, state-of-the-art transit hub to show for it. Yesterday, the MTA unveiled Fulton Center, a new digital transportation and retail space on Broadway between John and Fulton Streets, to the public as a new marvel of sustainability and technological and architectural ingenuity. The $1.4 billion, LEED-seeking project designed by Grimshaw Architects will be able to serve up to 300,000 daily riders on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z and R lines, and is a symbol of the continuing resilience and rebirth of Lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy and the 9/11 attacks.
“The new Fulton Center complex is another example of how we are rebuilding Lower Manhattan which will spur a resurgence throughout the area,” said Governor Cuomo of the newly opened transit hub. “This new station makes traveling easier for subway riders, and is a beautiful public space for visitors and commuters to enjoy. We now have a new cornerstone in Lower Manhattan, and I am proud to see this unique complex opened to the public.”
The modern glass and steel building is topped off by a 53-foot-diameter glass oculus which draws daylight down into the space below. The “Sky Reflector-Net”, a dazzling piece of functional custom artwork by James Carpenter Design Associates (JCDA), Grimshaw Architects and Arup, is comprised of 112 tensioned cables, 224 high-strength rods and nearly 10,000 individual stainless steel components, and will shimmer and reflect light as commuters walk below it.
In addition to maximizing daylight and reducing energy usage, Fulton Center features many other environmentally conscious considerations and is in the process of qualifying for LEED certification. The building was designed to reduce urban heat island effect through reflective roof surfaces and potable water usage in the space was reduced by 30 percent compared to a baseline building of a similar type while energy demand was cut by 25 percent. More than 20 percent of materials used in construction were sourced locally and made of recycled content.
“This building stands as a testament to the strength and resilience New York showed on 9/11 and every day since. And it stands as a testament to what smart investments in infrastructure can do to improve a city, a state, and even a nation,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “It shows what we can do for our customers and our region when we invest in transit, and it shows New York is still thinking big and building big. Great cities like New York need great public spaces, and I’m proud to see this new symbol of our city’s strength open its doors.”
Photos by Zak Kostura, Arup and Yuka Yoneda