The SourceCivil Engineering MagazineSlideshow: ‘Train Station in the Forest’ nears completion in China

Slideshow: ‘Train Station in the Forest’ nears completion in China

By Catherine A. Cardno, Ph.D.

  • looking down a broad sidewalk at a traditional brick train station
  • birds-eye view of a train station surrounded by parkland
  • daylit underground waiting hall with expansive ceilings
  • rebuilt historical brick station above ground, visible from inside the underground waiting hall
  • sweeping circular stairway descends from parkland to a sunken courtyard
  • a series of circular buildings with glass curtain walls
  • a series of buildings with circular footprints and glass curtain walls, seen across a large expanse of grass
  • single story glass curtain wall volumes perched atop green lawn
  • aerial rendering of completed train complex
  • aerial of the train complex under construction

Beijing- and Los Angeles-based MAD Architects has unveiled the design of the new “Train Station in the Forest” complex for Jiaxing, China. The design is a departure from current bigger-is-better monumental design thinking around train stations in China, instead focusing on creating a harmony of architecture, fresh air, sunlight, and landscaping, according to the architects. It will also convert an at-capacity train station with deficient supporting infrastructure into a destination commercial area with multiple transit options and parkland amenities.

The project includes three distinct elements contained in 35.4 hectares: a new underground train station complex, new and rebuilt parkland, and a rebuilt brick historical train station.

While the train tracks are at ground level, bisecting the site, the train station itself will be a massive underground complex lit by skylights during the day. Along the central axis of the new train station and its tracks, two “floating” metal roofs topped with photovoltaic panels will be surrounded by trees that will shade exterior plazas. Distinct commercial zones that can be accessed via the train station or via sunken courtyards will offer destination shopping for travelers and other members of the public.

At the ground level, a 39,945 sq m north plaza, a 147,705 sq m south plaza, and a 12,197 sq m renovation of the adjacent People’s Park will offer a public open space and forested area. To the south of the station, landscaped public lawns are also being installed, so that a variety of events, such as festivals, concerts, and markets, can be held.

The faithful replica of the site’s historic brick train station, which opened in 1909 but was destroyed in 1937, is the axis around which the parkland is designed. Once open, it will serve as the Jiaxing Railway History Museum.

As part of the project, municipal roads are also being sunken to offer direct connections to the various transport options of the train station, including bus terminals, a tramway, metro, taxi stands, and car parking, without impacting the parkland above with traffic.

Construction on the train station began at the end of 2019 and is expected to be completed by July 1. The overall passenger capacity is expected to be 5.28 million people a year, with three platforms serving six tracks.

Project credits:

Client: Jiaxing Modernservice Industry Development & Investment (Group) Co. Ltd.

Executive architects: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co. Ltd. and China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group Co. Ltd.

Design architect: MAD Architects

Structural: LERA Consulting Structural Engineers

Facade: RFR Shanghai

Landscape: Z’scape Landscape Planning and Design

Lighting: Beijing Sign Lighting Industry Group

Signage: NDC CHINA Inc.

Heritage: Shanghai Shuishi Architectural Design & Planning Corp. Ltd

Interior design: Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Landscape Design Research Institute Co. Ltd.

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