Austria's Salzburg Central Station reconstruction is nearly complete - and the project has already received two major awards. German architecture firm Kadawittfeldarchitektur won a competition to redesign the station in 2009 with a plan to improve the transport hub's connectivity to the city. The firm embarked on an ambitious reconstruction process while the station was still in operation, and now the project is finally nearing completion.
The architects were to rearrange the railway tracks in order to integrate the historic 1860s train station into the new master plan, which incorporates several bridges and passageways. The new 20 meter wide underpass will lead from the existing ‘Jugenstil’ hall to the new train station entrance and establish a connection between Elisabeth-Vorstadt and Schallmoss. The tracks and the platforms are covered with a glass canopy and transparent membrane roof with pneumatic air-cushions. The station has a geothermal system that provides all the energy necessary for its cooling and heating.
The station remained in operation while reconstruction has taken place; 750 trains carrying up to 25,000 passengers continued to run throughout construction, a feat that required complex planning. Alteration of existing tracks had to be carefully timed and choreographed to make the transition as seamless as possible.
The reconstruction is expected to be complete by mid-2014. Meanwhile, the project has received the Austrian ‘Staatspreis Design’ award and the European Steel Award.