After years of construction delays the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine redesigned by Santiago Calatrava is open and aglow. Located adjacent to the World Trade Center site, the church and shrine were one of the Lower Manhattan structures destroyed on September 11th by the fall of Tower 2. Calatrava’s design for the religious building, unveiled in 2013, takes cues from Byzantine architecture, specifically the Hagia Sophia. Calatrava’s design completely reimagines the building, giving an entirely new look and shape to what was once a simple row house established by Greek Orthodox leaders in 1916. When tasked with redesigning the structure Calatrava paid mind to the symbols and rites of Greek Orthodox practice while also considering the site’s connection to the World Trade Center Memorial. Calatrava also designed the nearby transportation hub at the World Trade Center, known as the Oculus. Equally as important to the design as the paintings is its lighting, Calatrava worked with DLR Group on the lighting design to craft the church as a place that truly glows from within, especially at night. The solid stone’s transparent appearance lets natural light, artificial light, and candlelight beam inside and out.
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