Fulton Center Project – Reconnecting the Subway with the Sky

The Fulton Center Project is a project that is supposed to breathe new life into the New York subway system. One of the most prominent features of the Fulton Center should be the new eight-story dome that is supposed to let the natural light back into the subway system.

The project has been given to Arup and Grimshaw and they will try to join the subway and the world above once again.

Interior view of the skylight at the Fulton Center Project

A bit of history

In its beginnings the New York City subway system had a wonderful solution when it came to illumination. It was based on natural light protruding deeply into subterranean spaces through lenses in the sidewalks serving as skylights for the world below. The connection to the sky and the world above was emphasized. But, the skylights became tremendously difficult to clean, which shaded the light that, in time, stopped passing through completely. The only solution were the electric lights. These had some advantages, such as the new options and higher flexibility for station design and placing, but the feeling of being locked under the ground brought discomfort and a sense of disorientation for many.

Interior view of the Fulton Center Project

The new idea

So they decided to reconnect the subway with the outside world once again. The main feature of this part of the project is an entry and retail pavilion with the already mentioned eight-storey dome having a glass oculus. The dome will not only look great, but also have the function of redirecting sunlight deeply into the subway system. This will be possible because the interior surface of the dome includes a cable net with about a thousand anodized aluminum panels. The net is supposed to assume different shapes based on the forces applied to it.

The dome is placed in the centre of the atrium space and is under construction at this very moment and the Fulton Center is scheduled to open to the public in summer of 2014. watch video below

Interior view of the Fulton Center Project

blueprint of the Fulton Center Project

Illustration an details about the Fulton Center Project

[images via ArchDaily]

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