This translucent train station in Spain near the border of France was built with two purposes in mind - sheltering trains from the weather, and protecting them from vandalism. Designed by Sau Taller d'Arquitectura, the Train Store in Ribes de Fraser intermingles a historic aesthetic with a very modern glass train shed with a result that is both charming and functional. The translucent side walls fill the space with natural daylight, while the saw-toothed roof provides space for solar photovoltaics on the south facing slopes to provide power to the station.
Planning for the 1,300 sq meter train storage shed began back in 2006 and it was finally completed in 2009. Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonia Railway) conceived of the shed as a way to solve the climatic problems of the station and to shelter the trains from vandalism. The design features a large diaphanous volume attached to a stone building, which serves as a waiting room on the end of the tracks. Large doors on the other end can be closed to lock in trains or other equipment to keep them safe at night.
Green glass walls serve as the shed’s facade, letting light filter onto the tracks and platforms. The base of the shed is covered in shiny metal accented with porthole windows. THe exterior surfaces are easy to clean, in case anyone decides to tag them with graffiti. The roof is a metal saw-toothed affair with south-facing slopes outfitted with photovoltaic panels to generate solar power for the station. The station’s low profile and reflective and translucent surfaces all help decrease the visual impact and integrate the building into the landscape.
Images ©Albert Camps Pla courtesy of Sau Taller d’Arquitectura