Santiago Calatrava is among the world’s most prominent architects, known for majestic civic works like a train station in Liege, Belgium, and Athens’ Olympic Sports Complex built for the 2004 summer games.
But as one of his most ambitious projects yet, the PATH commuter rail station at the World Trade Center, edges toward completion, the flow of incoming work has slowed. In the U.S., he isn’t getting asked to compete for new projects at all, he said, amid criticism of the rail project’s delays and costs.
“I could not compete because people have not asked me to compete,” Mr. Calatrava, 63 years old, said in an interview in his Park Avenue townhouse.
A hub that stitches together the commuter train to New Jersey with retail, connections to the subway and grand open spaces beneath soaring white arched beams, the project was meant to be a jewel of the 16-acre development site, capped by a spiky and glassy porcupine-like oculus.
Instead, it has become a budgetary boondoggle, its cost doubling to nearly $4 billion, which gives it the unenviable distinction of the world’s most expensive train station.
The reasons are numerous, but broadly its problems can be found in the interconnected nature of the project, which weaves through a complex site densely packed with office towers, an underground museum and retail, numerous officials involved with the project said. With two train lines running throughout construction, it has also proved a logistical nightmare. […]