LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted today to award the contract to design the master plan for Union Station Grimshaw Architects and Gruen Associates. The historic station was originally built in 1939 and today it sees 70,000 passengers a day. The station, while in working order, needs attention and a plan for the future in order to accommodate more passengers, high speed rail, improve transit experience, protect the iconic and historic property, improve pedestrian experience, enable smart land use of the 40 acres and explore relationships with the surrounding neighborhoods. With Grimshaw’s extensive experience in designing rail stations around the world and Gruen’s experience with master plan in the local area, the Board of Directors felt the team was the most capable of creatine a sound and forward thinking master plan.
Grimshaw will serve as lead designer and Gruen will act as the local coordinator in LA. They have until July 2014 to create a master plan for the station, which will also include Grimshaw bringing an architectural vision to the plan. The winning team competed against a number of heavy hitters including, EE&K/UNStudio; IBI Group/Foster + Partners; Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners/Ten Arquitectos/West 8; NBBJ/Ingenhoven Archictects; and Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
In a press release, Martha Welborne, Executive Director at Metro Countywide Planning stated, “We were pleased to have six world class teams submit proposals. It was a very tough decision as these are all very strong teams with relevant experience. However, the Gruen/Grimshaw team stood out with its combination of project management strength, spot-on experience in reinventing some of the world’s most admired rail line facilities, and an extraordinary vision for Union Station as both an icon and catalyst to improve passenger experience, community connectivity and economic development.”
Images ©Grimshaw Architects and Wikimedia