In the heart of Lower Manhattan, Grimshaw‘s Fulton Center transit hub has officially opened to the public, connecting eleven New York City Transit subway lines. The Fulton Center is organized around a large-scale atrium contained within an elegant, transparent façade. Tapered steel columns draw inspiration from the historic neighborhood’s cast-iron buildings and complement the integration and restoration of the adjacent Corbin Building. The open design provides unimpeded customer movement and sightlines across a level ground plane extending from the major thoroughfares of Broadway and Fulton Street.


Carefully aligned entrances and exits allow the streetscape to permeate the building, defining clear and efficient pathways to all trains. Once beyond fare control and underground, passengers will encounter brighter, widened passageways with clear signage connecting the complex array of platforms.


The transit hub’s atrium ascends to 120 feet and is topped by a conical dome centered on the concourse below. The dome is truncated by an angled glass oculus oriented to the southern sky. The central architectural concept of redirecting natural light deep into the transit environment – in an effort to humanize the space and orient passengers – culminates in the design of the dome’s interior and a new integrated artwork.


Sky Reflector-Net (2013) is the work of an engineer, architect and artist; a collaboration with Arup, Grimshaw and James Carpenter Design Associates, commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design and MTA Capital Construction Company. Held aloft below the oculus, the artwork paints an ever-changing image of the sky across the atrium interior.


“This new station makes traveling easier for subway riders, and is a beautiful public space for visitors and commuters to enjoy,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo. “We now have a new cornerstone in Lower Manhattan, and I am proud to see this unique complex opened to the public.”

The station is one in a series of schemes contributing to the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, which this month has also seen the completion of One World Trade Center by SOM.