Southern California will soon be getting a much needed infrastructure update in the form of Orange County’s recently unveiled Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). Designed by HOK Los Angeles and Parsons Brinkerhoff, the transit center will serve as a hub for commuter trains and two new high speed rail lines that will help commuters, fans, residents and tourists move seamlessly between transit services in Southern California and beyond. In addition to offering increased accessibility to green transportation, the station will be shooting to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest possible certification with the USGBC.

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Train stations are iconic. They serve not only as a central hub for transportation in a city, but they’re also a place to meet people, have dinner, shop, and people watch. Every great city has one, and now Anaheim in Orange County will too. Ground breaking for the transportation hub will happen in 2010 with hopes of completion by mid-2013. Inspiration for the station came from grand, open rail stations like NYC’s Grand Central as well as the historic Navy blimp hanger in nearby Tustin. HOK and Parsons Brinkerhoff will be designing Phase I of the 66,000 sq ft structure that will feature a 180 ft archway with views of the surrounding city. They wanted to design ARTIC as a breathtaking structure which would be instantly recognizable throughout the region.

Phase I will consist of the transportation center and supporting facilities, rail tracks and platforms, parking, public art and street improvement. Soon thereafter the center will accommodate passengers transferring from various interlinking transit services and will be supported by retail, restaurants and other passenger services within the terminal. Convenient access will be available to surrounding popular destinations like the Anaheim Convention Center, Angel Stadium, Disneyland and the Honda Center.

HOK is well known for their commitment to sustainable architecture and advanced design – they even wrote a book on it. As the rail station will be seeking LEED Platinum, many integrated sustainable design features will be part of the center. ARTIC will use solar panels to generate electricity and a solar hot water system to energy for heat and water. The structure itself will be composed of ETFE cushions, which form a highly insulating enclosure system with one-tenth the weight of glass – very similar to what was used for the Water Cube, Beijing’s Olympic aquatic stadium.

The future-forward rail station will not only include the most advanced technology and sustainable building options, but will help improve public transit for the entire region. With high-speed trains planned for San Francisco and Sacramento and MagLev trains planned for Las Vegas, travelers will be able to zip around California while significantly reducing carbon emissions from flying. The new central station for transportation in California will certainly act as a gateway to the future.


+ Parsons Brinkerhoff