Santiago Calatrava to design WTC Station?? That Rocks.

Orient Station, Lisbon, 1991, Santiago Calatrava

In the NYT, Ed Wyatt reports that the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been selected to design the train station at the World Train Center site. Now we’re gettin’ somewhere. [Finally, Herbert Muschamp weighs in, too, and favorably.]
I’ve been a huge fan of Calatrava’s sensual combination of organic form and hardcore engineering since seeing his competition-winning proposal for the Cathedral of St John The Divine in 1991, something of a departure from the train stations and bridges which have long been Calatrava’s specialties.
The bridges were an inspiration for my own impulsive Pentagon Memorial sketch. And the philosophy that led to his being selected to create the Times Capsule would be a welcome addition to the WTC rebuilding dialogue.
What began as an off-hand suggestion turned into an elaborate, thoughtful exploration of what should be preserved for a thousand years, and how, practically, to preserve it. Rather than bury it (and hope people will find it –and open it– on schedule, the capsule advisors suggested creating something attractive enough to draw people to it in any age. “Beauty might be its own defense,” they figured. Counting on at least some degree of continuity in human civilization over the next 1,000 years, the Times noted, “Ultimately, we are throwing in our lot with culture.” Sometimes, I wonder if that idea’s already ancient history.