As nearly 300 professionals from the architecture, engineering and construction industries watched, AECOM Tishman’s Anthony Pastore, Santiago Calatrava’s Gabriel Calatrava, Garou’s Gaspard Giroud, and Epic Games’ Marien El Alaoui met-up inside a full-scale virtual reality version of the Oculus during Build: London ’18. While stationed at their offices in New York, Paris, and London, the team highlighted the stunning design features and construction practices employed to build the icon.
Approximately 800 square feet, the Oculus is the pinnacle of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Transportation Hub – an instant icon of the rebuilt World Trade Center site. It’s comprised of 11,000 tons of steel fabricated in Northern Italy, which arrived in 588 parts. The curtain wall is comprised of almost 800 panels of glass and functions as an operable skylight, called the “wedge of light.” In addition, the structure contains over 300,000 square feet of marble – all pre-layed, assembled, and cataloged prior to shipping.
If this virtual reality technology existed prior to the Oculus’ construction, the team would have been able to mitigate conflicts by trouble shooting every minute detail to ensure it all worked together. Today, it can allow project teams to experience what the finished building’s height, width, and depth feels like before picking up a single tool; see how plumbing, electrical, and other utilities fit into the structure; and share exactly how they intend to deal with challenges – all before breaking ground.