While the U.S. endeavors to link up its cities via train, countries like China already have robust high speed rail systems in place, and cool new rail stations have been popping up left and right to accommodate the growing number of passengers. Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Tianjin's own lattice-roofed high speed rail station will be complete this year, and will be a daily stop for approximately 6,000 commuters who pass through its doors during peak hours. In addition to incorporating a series of sustainable strategies, the station will sit on a sprawling 22 hectare city park, which will be a lovely place to bide the time while you wait for your train to come in.
The station will be located within the new mixed-use Tanggu District of Tianjin City, to the east of Beijing. The center of SOM‘s design is a latticed roof that appears to flow right into the beautifully manicured greenery of the surrounding park. The special roof was developed to be economical, lightweight and uniquely efficient with parabolic trusses distributing loads evenly across the surface of the building.
Since the station’s platform level is located 21 meters below the ground, SOM opted to save energy on lighting by using skylights in the roof. Made of glass and steel and fitted with louvers, the skylights are angled to limit direct sunlight during summer months (cutting air conditioning energy) and bring in daylight during the winter. In addition to the use of natural light, the station and park incorporate other sustainable strategies such as a ground-source heat pump, thermal chimneys, and bioswales.