Foster + Partners just announced that they have won a competition to design the new Ourense high-speed rail station in Galicia, Spain. The design incorporates transportation infrastructure with a new urban park that will serve as an important public green space while creating new pedestrian links across the city. The main concourse will be placed above the existing rail lines and covered with a series of translucent arched canopies that allow natural daylight to soak through. Airy, open and light, the new rail station seeks to improve transport in and out of the city while making the area more pedestrian-friendly.
Foster + Partners won the international design competition along with the help of engineers, G.O.C. and Cabanelas Castelo Architects with their proposal. The station itself will bridge the existing rail line and will add a bus station and a parking area below. Designed to be discreet and transparent, Ourense AVE Station will blend into the landscape becoming an important, yet unobtrusive structure that gives more weight to the surrounding natural environment and the mountains beyond. Daylighting plays a major role in the station’s characteristics and light filters through the concourse’s lightweight roof canopies. The underside of the canopy is reflective and bounces light back down onto the platform, while glazed linear openings in between them pull in even more light.
As part of the design, Ourense Station is complemented by a large new public park to the southeast of the concourse. Pools of water and a formal network of pedestrian walkways, which echo the orientation of the tracks, provide a much-needed urban public space. The park increases pedestrian links across the city and the tracks connecting the streets of Barrio del Puente to Barrio Veintiuno. Nigel Dancey, senior partner at Foster + Partners comments, “We are delighted to have been selected for our integrated design, which brings together high-speed rail and bus stations with a major new public space for the city. We look forward to working with ADIF and the City of Ourense as the project develops.”
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