Transport and movement: creating a more intuitive transit hub
Today, the transit hub represents a major symbol for the contemporary city, as well as a hotly-debated issue. Since the 1980s, and with the advent of high-speed rail travel, the questions associated with the rail station and transit hub have become ever-more present, with many built responses transforming the way we perceive our own mobility at the close of the 20th century. The station has become a two-pronged vector: a nexus for the convergence of various transit networks and a city within itself.
Yet the station of today should contribute to a resurgence in our understanding of the modern metropolis. As the intersection for all things transit, it is the natural choice for inciting urban and socioeconomic change, within the city and in outlying regions. While the Industrial Revolution allowed for the station to evolve and even perfect its functionality, one witnessed various utopian schemes propose far different realities for this building typology. These artistic and architectural movements (from Russian Constructivism to the Metabolic City) created a fascinating (sometimes unrealistic) and unexpected vision for the world of transit. From there, the two states of being joined forces, albeit by pure chance many times, making it possible today to conceive ultra-modern station structures: organic, swooping canopies, layered and undulating bridges, hubs that link major activities within the urban fabric.
It is within these buildings that one brings to life different cultures, lifestyles, user experiences and interpretations, etc. Thus it is here that one strives to incorporate and anticipate the multitudes of usages: arrival, departure, circulation, strolling, purchasing, working, waiting, watching, and the list goes on... It is here that we channel these programs into activities and perceptions, creating a synchronized system of mechanical and ambient functions.
What we need today is a living station, an animated and lively environment that responds in a truly contextual way to our societal needs. The station must do so in an intelligent manner while continuing to interface with existing and future networks. The building becomes, more than anything, a place of exploration and discovery, a lieu dedicated to connectivity, yes, but also one that is capable of altering the cityscape... the ways in which we understand it.
The traditional station as an urban institution will naturally continue to push the city to new horizons. The station of tomorrow, however, will do so in a wholly new way... it will be more intuitive, accessible, legible, humane. Such is the scope of work the agency is currently undertaking.
After all, we think the station deserves it.
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