SOM just completed work on Denver's sweeping new Bus Concourse, which is critical component in the redevelopment of the city's Union Station and intermodal public transit hub. The underground station connects bus service to the 8-track rail platform and a light rail station just a short walk away. The Union Station redevelopment project will also renovate the historic Beaux Arts terminal and drive an influx of new commerce to the downtown business district while working to improve public transit in the congested city.
SOM was responsible for the master plan and redevelopment of the 20-acre site to bring about sweeping improvements to Denver’s public transportation system. Union Station serves as the hub for the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), which provides light rail, commuter rail, and bus transit. The project also includes master plans for the surrounding neighborhood, the renovation of the historic 1914 terminal, as well as landscaping and pedestrian and bike paths for the downtown district.
Union Station now features an 8-track train platform above ground, which is covered by a 180-foot-long canopy built from 11 steel trusses and covered in white tensile fabric. The expressive canopy provides shelter for passengers while preserving views of the historic station. Now completed, the underground bus concourse connects bus transit with regional and light rail service – and four new light rail lines are set to be installed by 2018. The bus concourse doubles as a pedestrian concourse and features vivid colors, clear wayfinding and daylighting, which makes it feel less subterranean and more spacious.
“This project represents a major investment in transit-oriented development with extraordinarily far-reaching social and economic consequences,” states Roger Duffy, Design Partner. “The bus concourse is the result of nearly a decade of thoughtful public consultation and bold design. Its completion helps realize this community’s aspirations for a truly transformational neighborhood and landmark public project.” The redevelopment of the old rail yards into the new intermodal transit hub will relieve congestion in the city, and it has also led to $1 billion worth of private investment in the area.
Images ©Robert Polidori and SOM