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Grimshaw's New York transport hub ditched

Grimshaw Architects’ proposals for the vast Fulton Street transport hub project in Lower Manhattan, New York, have been scrapped due to soaring construction costs, the AJ can reveal.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is funding the scheme, confirmed that the project will be dramatically pared back from Grimshaw’s original design – for the second time in two years (see AJ 31.05.06). It was also unable to confirm if Grimshaw would remain involved.

Local newspaper reports had claimed that costs for the scheme had ballooned to nearly $1.2 billion (£600 million) from the original $750 million (£380 million) budget and that any ‘above-ground’ element on the site could be scrapped altogether.

Speaking to the AJ, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said: ‘Scrapped is an overstatement. We’re in the middle of a 45-day review on what will be built there.

‘It’s not going to be nothing built above ground [sic], we will build something, but we can’t say what yet.’

The 45-day review comes to an end later this month, and according to Donovan, follows the continuing rise of construction costs that is affecting ‘not just us, but is hitting builders throughout the world’.

Grimshaw was appointed with Arup in 2004 to create a completely new transit hub, adjacent to Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Interchange, as the original was creaking under the pressure of more than 270,000 passengers a day.

The focal point of the original design, revealed in 2005, was a 34m-high glass dome, designed in collaboration with artist/engineer James Carpenter. This was scrapped in May 2006 when construction costs on the overall scheme soared by $50 million (£25 million) forcing a redesign.

Grimshaw declined to comment.

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