"To see the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine finally open is emblematic of Lower Manhattan’s storied future and defining past. I hope to see this structure serve its purpose as a sanctuary for worship but also as a place for reflection on what the city endured and how it is moving forward. Architecture can have an intrinsic symbolic value, which is not written or expressed in a specific way but in an abstract and synthetic manner, sending a message and thus leaving a lasting legacy. Thank you to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Friends of St. Nicholas and the WTC Memorial Museum for their fervent support throughout the course of reconstruction and for believing in my architectural vision."
——圣地亚哥·卡拉特拉瓦 Santiago Calatrava
Santiago Calatrava Celebrates Opening of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine in New York City
at the World Trade Center. St. Nicholas Church is Santiago Calatrava’s first-ever built religious institution project. The Church was the only religious structure to be destroyed on 9/11; now it becomes a National Shrine at the World Trade Center site.
On December 6, 2022, world-renowned architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and Greek Orthodox Church officials celebrated the historic reopening of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
Santiago Calatrava was tasked with redesigning the building entirely, creating a space that directly addresses the traditional Greek Orthodox liturgy while honoring the Church’s connection to the greater World Trade Center Memorial site. The St. Nicholas Church is the second completed structure at the World Trade Center campus to be designed by Santiago Calatrava, following the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.
建筑象征主义和外部立面 Architectural Symbolism & Exterior Façade
Calatrava’s design for St. Nicholas Church was heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture and landmarks, specifically a mosaic in Hagia Sophia, the Virgin Mary as the “Throne of Wisdom.” In aseries of watercolors, Santiago Calatrava symbolizes a metamorphosis from that mosaic into the facade of St. Nicholas. The Hagia Sophia-inspired dome features 40 windows and 40 ‘ribs’-- the same number of ribs in Saint Nicholas, which are visible from both the interior and the external subdivision of the roof. The dome features twenty prophets whose images alternate between the dome ribs. The architectural elements incorporated into the structure are based on an in-depth study of the relationship between Byzantine architecture and numbers.
The entire exterior of the structure was intentionally made of Pentelic marble to parallel the Pentelic marble that makes up the Parthenon in Athens. The dome is made of thin stone and glass laminated panels that are illuminated from behind. When illuminated, these areas of the façade create an incandescent aura that makes the entire church appear to glow from within, invoking the feeling of being a beacon of hope amid the night.
The exterior of the church consists of four solid stone-clad towers that ultimately form a square shape, which hosts the dome-like building. The corner towers and two west-facing towers are clad in alternating large and small horizontal bands of white and gray marble reminiscent of the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora, Turkey.
室内设计、艺术和体验 Interior Design, Art and Experience
In St. Nicholas, due to the scale of the church, the Narthex forms a single continuous space. The arch forms a sheltered Porticus approximately eight feet deep in front of the entry doors that open onto the Exonarthex (opposite the church's main Altar). From there, the church moves through a series of liturgical spaces including the Narthex, and into the Nave (main Altar) of the church, eventually landing at the Iconostasis and Sanctuary.
Entry into the main Altar is through the “Royal Doors” – a pair of doors depicting the Annunciation. Taking inspiration from the Church of the Rotunda in Salonica and the Hagia Sophia as models, the main Altar of the church lies under the all-embracing span of a central dome; at the center of which is the Image of Christ (Pantocrator), Ruler of the Universe, surrounded by twenty Old Testament Prophets.
The north and south axial recesses, or niches, are marked with translucent arched windows divided by mullions forming a cross. Icons and offertory tables accent the niches. The eastern recess eliminates the arch window so that the iconography above the main Altar can be seen as a singular image.
The Iconostasis stretches across the east end of the Nave in order to encompass the full breadth of view that a parishioner or visitor may have upon entering. Circular candle rooms are located laterally to the main entrance area. Beyond the Iconostasis is the Sanctuary housing the Altar, whose access is reserved to only clergy and appointed persons.
神殿的传统圣像内容是由世界著名的拜占庭圣像学学者阿米索斯的约阿希姆主教确定的，而实际的绘画是由来自阿托斯山的塞农蓬托斯修道院的一名牧师-修道士完成的，该修道院在希腊有1000多年的历史。Loukas神父为他的14世纪 "圣母学派 "的迭代带来了一种低调的风格。大部分的圣像都是在阿托斯山画的，并由修士带到纽约安装。
The traditional iconographic program of the Shrine was fixed by Bishop Joachim of Amissos, a world- renowned scholar on Byzantine iconography, and the actual painting was executed by a priest-monk from the Monastery of Xenonphontos on Mt. Athos, the monastic republic in Greece over 1,000 years old. Father Loukas brought a subdued style to his iteration of the “Hagiographic School” of the 14th Century. Most of the icons were painted on Mt. Athos and brought to New York for installation by the monk.
Calatrava collaborated with DLR Group on the lighting design for St. Nicholas Church to allow the church to read as solid stone by day, and then glow “by the light of 10,000 candles” at night while also carefully balancing supplemental lighting with the ever-changing natural light within the church interior.
以世贸中心纪念遗址为语境 Urban Context within the World Trade Center Memorial site
The church is situated approximately twenty-five feet above street level, which raises it slightly above the canopy of the World Trade Center Memorial oak trees. Shroud in stone, it is entirely fitting that the church, the only non-secular building on the reconstructed site, occupy this raised position. As such, it will serve as a spiritual beacon of hope and rebirth for the congregation and the city through the millions of visitors meant to pass through the reconstructed World Trade Center campus.
A large open plaza on the west side leads visitors to the entrance of the church through a low arch spanning between the round stair towers on the west façade. The two non-liturgical spaces housed in the portion of the building west of the dome on the second and third floors are the Community rooms. Two small offices on this level have windows to allow views of the Memorial and Liberty Park. The large Meeting Room is an additional space open to the local community for meetings and other activities.
These spaces are a significant component of the building’s program as they accentuate the church’s open and welcoming relationship with the greater World Trade Center Memorial site as well as the community of Lower Manhattan.