World Trade Center Oculus

One of New York’s newest architectural gems.



The Oculus was positioned as part of the World Trade Center masterplan by Daniel Libeskind and designed by Santiago Calatrava. The structure’s white metal-clad steel ribs reach up and out in a monumental move symbolic of a hand releasing a dove.

The structure's orientation serves as a lasting reminder of the attacks of September 11, 2001. It is in alignment with the sun’s solar angles on each September 11, from 8:46 am, when the first plane struck, until 10:28 am, when the second tower collapsed. Its central skylight fits this alignment and washes the Oculus floor with a beam of light.


Oculus street level access is limited overnight from 1:00 am to 5:00 am.


World Trade Center Oculus

50 Church Street
New York, NY 10007

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Big Red lift from the west side of the Oculus floor

Meet "Big Red"


The TEUPEN TL 156AX, or “Big Red” as it is affectionately known, is a custom-built crane designed to suit the special needs of the Oculus. It has an articulated arm that can reach the highest point of the Oculus skylight at 160 feet above the floor and can extend over 50 feet horizontally.

An exterior shot of the Oculus at the World Trade Center showcasing new LED lights

Oculus Lights


As part of our commitment to sustainability, about 13,000 lighting fixtures have been replaced throughout the Oculus to reduce energy consumption and increase the life expectancy of the lamps. The program also brought a new feature to the Oculus that allows the rib-uplighting to be changed to any color.