World Trade Centre Transportation Hub - Oculus Erection Engineering

Structural Designer

COWI North America

Client Name

Port of New York and New Jersey|Skanska USA


New York


Skanska USA




Downtown Design Partnership (DMJM + Harris, STV Group and Parsons)


Santiago Calatrava


A unique, signature structure that will serve over 200,000 pedestrians per day as a transportation hub in Manhattan, The Oculus is built adjacent to the original World Trade Centre site.

The Oculus is made up of 11,500 tons of steel, with a dramatic array of ribs and columns which trick the eye by appearing to never quite make it to the ground. Extremely careful modelling and tight site controls were needed, together with advanced bridge construction techniques, to achieve the intended geometry and force distribution in the structure.


Judge's comment:

As with so many structures designed by Calatrava, the real challenge is building it! The Oculus in New York is no exception, and the judges were impressed with the ingenuity and expertise of COWI's engineers that made it possible in this case.  The control of geometry and the sensitivity of the enormous structural components to temporary erection conditions meant that very tight construction tolerances had to be achieved.  The judges also noted that this remarkable task was carried out under very close scrutiny in the public eye, because of the history of the site, which added extra pressures to what was already an extraordinary piece of erection engineering.

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Email: [email protected]

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