Archive for ‘Public Facilities’

February 6, 2012

British Embassy | Tony Fretton Architects

 

 Set in its own grounds facing onto Ulica Kawalerii on one side and a park on the other in an area of the city devoted to embassies, the British Embassy in Warsaw has a serene and formal quality. Its long form is centralized by an attic in an elementally neo-classical way and underlined by the longer figures of the walls and railings enclosing the site. The building is explicit in its conservation of energy; its glass elevations function as the outer skin of a double façade, which provides substantial thermal insulation in winter and relieves heat in the summer. The outer layer, delineated by pale bronze aluminum mullions and mirror glass, reflects the sky and trees of the surrounding gardens. Behind this is a more substantial façade of windows set between solid piers and spandrels in a modulated composition of a similar palette. The pale polychromy of this arrangement is a distant relative of the painted stucco buildings of the school of Schinkel, which can be seen across Europe from the Hague to Oslo and here in Warsaw.

Architect: Tony Fretton Architects
Location: UI. Kawalerii 12, Warsaw, 
Design Build Contractor: Mace Limited
Executive Architect: Epstein Sp zo.o
Structural/Services/Acoustical Engineer: Buro Happold Polska Sp.
Quanity Surveyors: Arcadis
Security Consultant: David Goode Associates
Landscape Architect: Schoenaich Landscape Architects Ltd
Landscape Execution: RS Architektura Krajobrazu
Space Planners: Forme UK
Architecture Execution: EMKAA Architekci
BREEAM Construction: TPS
Façade Specialist: Saelzer
Project Area: 4,300 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Tony Fretton Architects

One enters the Embassy grounds through a Gate House on Ul. Kawalerii. A carriageway leads to a stone clad porte cochère at the centre of the façade. The ground floor is reserved for public activities and features a large space for exhibition and events, and a café that opens onto the garden. Occupying the remainder of the ground floor is the area for Consular Section and UK Border Agency complete with a public waiting area accessed via its own entrance from a route through the grounds. The administrative offices of the Embassy are located on the first and second floor. With an acoustically absorbent ceiling, carpeted floor and double façade, the offices are places of calm efficiency. Workspaces are amply lit with daylight from the glass facades and two generous planted courtyards in the centre of the plan. In the attic at the second floor is the Ambassador’s suite, which looks out on either side to extensive roof terraces.

A variety of material finishes are used in the interior. Structural columns are expressed and the windows set between them have mullions and spandrels in light bronze anodised aluminum. The floors are terrazzo or carpeted. The foyer coat cupboard and café screen are made of walnut panels.

Each floor has its own identity through the association between its parts and their relations to the outside world. Public spaces in the ground floor flow from one to another and into the grounds. Open office space in the first floor is given a degree of separation by the interior courts. In the comparatively small Ambassador’s suite the offices will have the scale and quality of cabinets, a theme that continues in the small spaces for sitting that are cut out from the wide areas of planting filling the roof terraces on either side. In its larger form the roof planting relates the terraces to the grounds around the Embassy and the park beyond. With these simple gestures, the Embassy maintains its role in the culture and fabric of Warsaw.

The building has been designed with safety and security as a priority. Mace’s integrated design and construction team, led by Tony Fretton Architects, worked closely with structural engineering company Buro Happold, specialist advisors David Goode Associates and façade specialists Saelzer to develop a façade that can withstand the impact of an explosive device.

In addition to strengthening the building’s security the double façade has significant environmental credentials. It acts as an environmental barrier to the harsh Polish winters and warm summers. The glazed outer skin on the South, West and East facades is positioned one meter beyond the inner skin to create a cavity. Mechanical louvres at the top and bottom of the cavity are closed in winter to retain the heat, while in summer they can be opened to cool the building. The heating and cooling system inside the building has variable flow and adjusts in accordance with fluctuating temperatures outside. These combined solutions significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption. Another sustainable design feature is the carbon dioxide driven ventilation, which has been applied to the exhibition area. This system adjusts the mechanical ventilation levels in accordance to room traffic and has been applied to the exhibition space where occupancy levels will fluctuate. All heating needs for the building are generated from a connection to Warsaw’s district heating system, negating the need for a boiler.

http://www.archdaily.com/131780/british-embassy-tony-fretton-architects/

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January 22, 2012

8 Washington Development | SOM Architects + PWP Landscape Architecture

 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and PWP Landscape Architecture shared with us their proposal for the 8 Washington development in downtown . The plans will continue the revitalization and support enjoyment of the historically under-utilized northeast waterfront by reconnecting the City with the Bay and providing housing and community amenities which include: dynamic pedestrian corridors linking Pacific Avenue and Jackson Street with The Embarcadero; a children’s play area featuring interactive sculptural gardens; an expanded health and aquatics center; cafés, restaurants and retail; and centralized underground public parking for the Ferry Building Waterfront Area. In total, the project will create 30,000 square feet of public open space and parks and an additional 40,000 square feet of private recreation space within a new fitness and outdoor aquatic center. With past projects including the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the historic Piers 1 ½, 3 and 5 just north of the Ferry Building as well as the transformation of Pier 24 into the country’s largest photography museum, San Francisco Waterfront Partners, and local development partner Pacific Waterfront Partners, possess a demonstrated commitment to excellence and a long-standing passion for the waterfront dating back 65 years.

Pacific Park, Children’s Play Area and Café

8 Washington will maximize the amount of family-oriented public recreational space available by converting the land area occupied by the current surface parking lot, a triangular piece of land on The Embarcadero at the corner of Washington Street, into a public park at the northern most end of the site which reconnects Pacific Avenue to The Embarcadero.

Addressing the neighborhood’s evolving demographics and need for active, programmed space for children, Pacific Park will feature a 4,500-square-foot play garden featuring climbable art sculptures and interactive water features. Three separate areas will target various age groups with design-savvy play spaces that reference materials from the nearby waterfront and the Coastal region. Public art will be interwoven throughout the site.

Designed by PWP Landscape Architecture, the topography of the new Pacific Park complements neighboring Sydney G. Walton Square Park which was designed by Peter Walker with SWA Group in 1968. Rolling lawns provide vistas out to the water and can be used for adults to lounge and kids to play. The park will be further activated by an adjacent café with outdoor seating which spills into the park, as well as additional café seating on the rooftop overlooking the Bay.

Dynamic New Pedestrian Corridors Enable Waterfront Access

The park wraps around the fitness and aquatic center via a newly expanded and improved Drumm Street Garden Walk and connects south to the proposed Jackson Commons, a dynamic pedestrian corridor which will link Jackson Street with The Embarcadero. In the redesign, Jackson Commons has been widened to strengthen the connection and views to the waterfront. The landscaped 6,650-square-foot space will be flanked to the north and south by cafes, restaurants, and retail.

A block north, Pacific Avenue will link Sydney G. Walton Square Park to the new 16,740-square-foot Pacific Park, and for the first time connect Pacific Avenue to The Embarcadero with both views and pedestrian access. Bolstered by open and airy landscaping and an overall wider space, the Drumm Street Garden Walk will serve as a north-south axis connecting Pacific Park to Sue Bierman Park.

Increased public access to and from The Embarcadero will allow San Franciscans to embrace the Bay in a manner that will radically transform the relationship between the adjacent city neighborhoods and the waterfront. A new system of parks and pathways will create a unified green network by linking multiple existing open spaces together and providing much needed connections to The Embarcadero, which were previously cut off.

Wider sidewalks, bicycle amenities, car share programs, and centralized underground public parking will improve both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding area. An active community of residents, restaurants, and retail will add to the safety and viability of the neighborhood by bringing more stakeholders and business to the neighborhood.

Community Recreation & Aquatics Health Center

The proposed plan replaces the existing private health facility with an enlarged and improved $12 million community recreation and aquatics club. As part of the proposed plans, the Health Center’s indoor fitness area will expand to 16,350 square feet from an existing 7,500 square feet. The new state-of-the art aquatics center will feature a 50 yard, 6,300-square foot outdoor pool that increases the existing pool area by more than 50 percent.

The striking triangulated design of the Health Center building includes a living green roof and living walls along The Embarcadero. Green roofs also top the majority of the proposed residential buildings, such that 35,000 square feet of green roofs are provided within the 8 Washington project. In addition to a positive impact on the LEED-certified project’s sustainability, the living roofs create a stunning view from neighboring buildings and enforce the network of green space created by 8 Washington. San Francisco Waterfront Partners’ commitment to the recreation facility – combined with the addition of public open space, which currently doesn’t exist on the site – dedicates over half of the land to recreation and park space and is one of the key community benefits of the 8 Washington proposal.

http://www.archdaily.com/196481/8-washington-development-som-architects-pwp-landscape-architecture/

November 28, 2011

Infinite Free Iraqi Constitution Proposal | Manhal Al Habbobi

How can you condense more than ten thousand years of civilization into a single project that faithfully tells the story of a great nation? The answer is in the winning design of a prestigious architectural competition, to design the new compound for the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers in Baghdad. Zaha Hadid and more than 30 other international architects participated in this competition, won by the Iraqi Architect Manhal Al Habbobi (Master in Philosophy of Architecture) with his ‘CAP Emirates’ design.

The design concept evolved as a logical and natural outcome of the system approach, concluding that an ‘Infinite Free Iraqi Constitution’ would be the perfect translation for the objectives of the project, as it represents now the virtual ruler that it is to house and maintain.

The four stages of the concept’s evolution covered searching for a design statement that would convey the ‘raison d’être’ for the project; deciding on some characteristics within the statement that could be visually realized; symbolizing characteristics in a linear presentation, and finally, symbolizing a metamorphosing of form in a way that resembles the biological process by which a living creature physically develops after birth or hatching.

The architect suggests that if you can imagine a gigantic cylindrical seal, which was used in ancient Iraq as an administrative tool, engraved with all the significant features of Iraq’s past, present and future aspirations, that image is the design used to mark the ribbon connecting the land with Tigris River. Carved with the story of Iraq, the landscape of this ribbon evolved, through a process of metamorphosing, into splendid architectural spaces delineated by elegantly defined thresholds.

Manhal Al Habbobi goes on to say that in the future, if you happen to stand in front of a building that speaks to you and tells you that inside are people looking after the Infinite Free Iraqi Constitution, then you’ll know that you are in Baghdad in front of the General Secretariat for Ministers Council. Enjoy your stay!

http://www.archdaily.com/185127/infinite-free-iraqi-constitution-proposal-manhal-al-habbobi/

November 28, 2011

Messe Basel | Herzog & de Meuron

The modernization of the Messe Basel is making progress. Developed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron on behalf of the MCH Group, the project aims renew the existing exhibition space and become a popular destination for pedestrians and foreign visitors. The new multifunctional exhibition building is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Architects: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel
Location: Basel, 
Client: MCH Messe Switzerland AG, Basel, Switzerland
Project Area: 141,000 m2
Construction Period: 2010 – 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd.

The three-story addition will be replacing two outdated exhibitions halls with new exhibition areas designed for large events, meeting rooms, dining areas, shops and other services. The space is divided into three parts: the open space, a covered lounge and the City Rosentalanlage (later Green Park).

Hall one will remain intact. The main event hall will be relocated to the ground floor of the new Hall three. Both, Halls one and three will be connected by an overhead walkway above the Messeplatz. The City Lounge will be located directly under the walkway. Many interior spaces are able to be combined for flexible use.

The floors of the building shift, uniquely responding to the surrounding city. The metallic waves on the façade create vivid reflections and insight to the movement within. The public ground and exhibition floors will be covered with a shiny metallic surface.

Take a virtual tour through the new Messe Basel with THIS video provided by Herzog & de Meuron.

http://www.archdaily.com/186771/in-progress-messe-basel-herzog-de-meuron/

November 20, 2011

shenzhen clubhouse | richard meier architects


‘shenzhen clubhouse’ by richard meier architects, shenzhen, china
all images courtesy richard meier architects

positioned upon an island within the OCT bay in shenzhen, china, the ‘shenzhen clubhouse’ designed by new york-based
practice richard meier architects is nearing completion. upon traversing a pedestrian bridge across the water, guests pass through
a promenade lined with and allée of trees towards an arrival court and central fountain. within view of the urban and
cultural district across the water, the internal spaces are radially arranged within the sweeping external form offering views
of the city. clad with signature white metal panels, daylight filters through the overlay of solid panes and voids producing
an interplay of light and shadow through the skylights and vertical screens.


approach to the complex

the 11,000 square meter complex will provide a restaurant, multipurpose area and a small gallery along with private
dining suites and recreational facilities. a lush landscape and pathway connect to the pool and fitness center at the southern end
of the isle. the outdoor areas are planted with indigenous flowers and orchards while a reflecting pool cascades from the lobby.
rooted within chinese philosophy, the meandering garden paths produce an intimate experience filled with delicate textures
and captivating vistas. the understated massing of the secondary structure compliments the entry building by reducing the overall scale
and instead opening the ceiling into a generous skylight above the 25 meter lap pool along with three glass perimeter walls with
prospects of the landscape.


arrival court and central fountain


lobby


pool


pool


(left) atrium under construction
(right) entry


(left) perimeter corridor
(right) fins lining the facade


front elevation under construction


floor plan / level 0


floor plan / level 1


floor plan / level 2


elevation


elevation

http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/17648/richard-meier-architects-shenzhen-clubhouse.html

November 19, 2011

Centre d’Examen du Permis | a+ Samuel Delmas

Architects: a+ Samuel Delmas 
Location: 
Client: Ministère de l’écologie
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Julien Lanoo

Site, Brief and Project

The project takes place along the nearest boulevard. It is used as an acces filter for the tracks, thanks to its openwork envelope. The fence on the boulevard uses the facade system and improves its presence along the way, while developing a kinetic effect when driving by the building.

The building skin is constituted of vertical elements that are made with strips of timber or metalic slats, regularly spaced according to their function. The envelope was made to solve all the constraints based on the brief and the site: solar protection, modularity of the building, prefabrication, anti-intervention, anti-vandal, environmental approach, and more.

Building & Sustainable Development

Simple and rigorous volumes allow for the optimization of the way of building, and the rationalization of the structure, the envelope and the networks. The implementation of windbreak hedges is composed of local species with persistent foliage. Key interests in the design approach were preservation of the existing vegetation and the development of a biodiversity in relation with the site (humid environment). The drainage ditches filters the water of pollution thanks to a natural system using plants.

Text by a+ Samuel Delmas

http://www.archdaily.com/182269/centre-dexamen-du-permis-a-samuel-delmas/

November 7, 2011

Culture Yard | AART Architects

Architects: AART Architects
Location: 
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Adam Mørk

AART architects is a Danish architectural firm which, with roots in the Nordic architectural tradition, works with the community as a value-creating element. This applies to both the development work, where we pro- mote innovation through knowledge sharing and inter-disciplinary collaboration, and to the finished building, where the architecture is designed in a dialogue with the context and expresses a form of social cohesion.

Our mission is to give meaning and intimacy to everyday life by creating sensuous architecture, where each user feels that the architecture speaks to them. Our aim, therefore, is to always achieve the highest architectural quality, which stems from a nuanced insight into each project’s potential with functional and exciting spaces for social communities as our goal.

In order to lead the development of responsible and innovative architecture, we have engaged in several re- search and development projects over the years. In this way, we have built up extensive knowledge of materials, technology and user requirements, which, combined with our organizational strength in financial and project management, provides us with a stable platform for developing the architecture of tomorrow.

By extension, we have organized the company into four interdisciplinary research teams: Integrated Design, Green Design, Health Design and Value Design. The four research teams form a common thread in our professional development and give added value to each project by challenging standard approaches and developing new methods and processes in the fields of design, energy and environmental optimization, health- promoting architecture and innovative value-creation.

As architects, we make our living from the human factor in the form of creativity, innovation and collaboration. Our most important resource is therefore our dedicated and competent employees, who, by combining evidence-based studies with a nuanced empathy, develop beautiful, attentive and functional solutions. We therefore place great importance on an employee-driven corporate culture, which is embodied in the four research teams that motivate knowledge sharing and interdisciplinary collaboration.

As a member of Global Compact, we contribute to pro- moting sustainable development by actively supporting the UN’s 10 principles for social responsibility.

Text provided by AART Architects

http://www.archdaily.com/180161/culture-yard-aart-architects/

October 10, 2011

guangzhou south railway station | TFP farrells


‘guangzhou south railway station’ by TFP farrells, guangzhou, china
images courtesy TFP farrells

the recently completed ‘guangzhou south railway station’ located in guangzhou, china designed by london-based
practice TFP farrells has been shortlisted for an award in the transport category of this year’s world architecture festival.
positioned within the pearl river delta region, this addition to china’s growing network of high speed railway transportation
hubs will circulate 300,000 passengers on a daily basis. 28 platforms distributed on the ground level receive the arrival
trains while departures are elevated to the first floor. the building is divided vertically to provide infrastructure for other
modes of movement including taxis, cars, buses and connections to the metropolitan subway positioned underground.

a series of spacious atriums welcome passengers while simultaneously allowing unobstructed views from the raised
concourses through to the waiting hall. the spine of the structure contains a 348 meter long skylight which becomes wider
near the main entrances and slimmer towards the center. the barrel vaulted structural steel diagrid is enclosed with ETFE
air cushions to introduce daylight while minimizing excessive solar gain. reminiscent of the appearance of victorian train stations,
the standing seam roof is angled 45 degrees to evoke the structural arrangement of leaves. the 168 meter clear-spans of the roof’s
hybrid system of structural components results in column free areas with visual connections between escalators and lifts.
the overall masterplan introduces two large vegetated plazas at the opposing points of entry increasing the urban dweller’s
connection with native trees and plants.


ground level entrance


atrium with glazed roof


waiting area with column free spaces


stairs down to platforms


platform


departure platforms


elevated outward view from station of landscaped plaza


perimeter corridor


outdoor corridors beneath roof overhang


aerial view


section

http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/16854/tfp-farrells-guangzhou-south-railway-station.html


September 11, 2011

Phoenix International Media Center | BIAD UFo

Architects: BIAD UFo
Location: , China
Client: Phoenix Satellite Television
Project Year: 2009-2012
Project Area: 64973 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of BIAD UFo

Phoenix International Media Center locates in the southwest corner of Chaoyang Park; the site area is 1.8 hectares. The total floor area of the building is 65,000m2 with a height of 55m. Apart from the media office, the broadcasting studios and the production offices, the building provides abundant of open spaces for the public to get interactive experiences, which expresses the unique operation concept of Phoenix Media. The logic of the design concept is to create an ecological environment shell embraces the Individual functional spaces as a building-in-building concept. The two independent office towers under the shell generate many shared public spaces. In the east and west parts of the shared spaces, there are continuous steps, landscape platforms, sky ramps and crossing escalators which fill the building of energetic and dynamic spaces. Furthermore, the building’s sculptural shape originates from the “Mobius Strip”. The sculptural shape provides the building a harmony relationship with the irregular direction of the existing streets, the sitting corner of the site, and the Chaoyang Park.The continuous integrity and the smooth surface of the building express the topological corporate culture of the Phoenix Media. The elevation difference between the southern and northern internal spaces are able to provide quality of sunlight, ventilation and landscape view to the office towers, meanwhile avoiding glare and noises for the broadcasting room. In addition, the elevation difference also avoids blocking the sunshine to the residential building at the northern direction.In addition, energy-saving and low-carbon concepts are also applied in the building design. Instead of setting drain pipe on the smooth surface, the rainwater will be collected by dropping naturally along the structural ribs into the collection tank which locates at the bottom of the building. After being filtered, the rain water will be recycled to water the artistic waterscape and irrigation for landscape. Other than the aesthetic value of the architectural shape, during Beijing’s windy winter time, the smooth surface and round shape also mitigate the severe street wind effects from high-rise buildings. Meanwhile, the shell also provides a climate buffer space for the functional spaces as an “Green Coat”.The double layer exterior of the building can improve the comfort in the functional areas, and reduce the consumption of energy. Digital technology is applied to tailor the physical space of the exterior shell and the inside volume precisely in order to ensure the exact matches between seams. The cone-shaped shared space, which is 30 meters high, generates the chimney effect, which provides natural air ventilation to save energy during transitional seasons.

http://www.archdaily.com/165746/in-progress-phoenix-international-media-center-biad-ufo/

from architect website:

Phoenix International Media Center is a multipurpose and comprehensive architecture with functions of television programming, offices and business. As usual, media building has large space such as broadcasting hall, as well as typical office floors vertically. It is hard for this two parts to achieve a harmonious effect. However, in this program, we resort to the pattern of Mobius, that is, combines high office floor with media broadcasting hall. While satisfying the need of the place for programming as well as other supporting establishments, it becomes a complete space and volume. Unique building shape combines with the natural scene in Chaoyang Park.  Another feature of Phoenix International Media Center is the openness in all aspects. People can experience the cultural charm of media in the building.

http://www.biad-ufo.cn/en/projectsshow.aspx?f_id=1908&type=4&years=&workfield=


aerial view of the ‘phoenix international media center’ by shao weiping of BIAD_UFo under construction
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo

designboom has just visited the construction site of the ‘phoenix international media center’ located in beijing, china.
designed by chinese based shao weiping + BIAD_UFo, the multipurpose program will contain facilities for
television programming, offices and various businesses. the curvaceous shell is conceptually derived from the mobius,
a continuous strip with no beginning or end. an expansive glass facade wraps around the monumental atrium reaching
a grand thirty meters in height creating a chimney effect to ventilating the spaces. separate sheltered rooms containing
programmatic spaces protect individuals from direct sunlight.

a 55 meter high structural diagrid supports the expansive glass curtain wall bringing ambient light into the sweeping
interior as well as maintaining a visual connection with the adjacent chaoyang park from the various levels of suspended
promenades and streets. the steel ribs will channel water into a collection tank which will then be filtered and distributed into
the surrounding water features and landscape. the double skin facade will reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable
temperatures within the building in winter and summer.


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


construction
image © designboom


temporary supports are added to the structure to strengthen connections during construction
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


atrium under construction
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


interior promenade
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


arch structure for roof
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


structural steel wrapping the building
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


rendering of interior atrium

image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


rendering entrance facade
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


street facade
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


floor plan / level 0
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


floor plan / level 1
image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


section

image courtesy of BIAD_UFo


(left) corridor
(right) atrium space

images courtesy of BIAD_UFo


(left) interior ‘street’
(right) upper level ‘street’ overlooking lower levels

images courtesy of BIAD_UFo

this project is currently being exhibited as part of the ‘verso est’ – chinese architectural landscape at the MAXXI in rome, italy.
curated by fang zhenning, the international exhibit for chinese art and architecture will continue though october 23, 2011.

project info:
project name: phoenix international media center
location: beijing, china
architectual firm (studio): shao weiping(executive chief architect of biad, director of biad ufo (un-forbidden office)
design period: 2007-2009
construction period: 2009-2012
site area: 18821.83 m2
floor area: 64973 m2
above ground: 35000 m2
underground: 29973 m2
client: phoenix satellite television(east) beijing
usage: media office, broadcasting studio, restaurants, parking garage, utilities and supporting facilities

http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/9/view/16042/biad-ufo-phoenix-international-media-center.html

September 2, 2011

Gateway Center Station | EDGE Studio, Pfaffmann & Associates

Architect: EDGE StudioPfaffmann & Associates
Location: Pittsburgh, 
 Design Team: Gary Carlough AIA, Jonathan Golli, Matt Fineout AIA, Stephen Mrdjenovich
Pfaffmann & Associates Design Team: Rob Pfaffmann AIA, Carl Bergamini RA, Erik Hokanson
Completion Date: 2011
Photography: Carl Bergamini, Pfaffmann & Associates

In 2003, EDGE studio and Pfaffmann & Associates collaborated and won a competition to design the Port Authority’s new Gateway LRT Station. The station is located along one side of an under-utilized triangular parcel of land in the heart of Pittsburgh’s famed “Golden Triangle”. It is currently under construction, scheduled for completion in 2011.

For transit stations to be successful in the 21st Century, they must become part of the urban fabric of the city. To achieve this integration, stations must serve as more than just stops for passengers to board and depart transit vehicles. They must become part of the overall experience of the city.

Pittsburgh is known for its world renowned view of the city experienced by travelers exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnels and crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge. The new Gateway Station is situated to serve as the terminus to this famous procession of views into Pittsburgh’s city center. Considering the importance if its location, The Port Authority along with its consultants saw the opportunity for the station to serve as the catalyst for development of the entire triangular site, which had previously been undeveloped property.

The designers developed a concept referencing this “Gateway Experience”. Using this term to describe the experience of entering Pittsburgh via the Fort Pitt Tunnels and Bridge, they sought to develop a similar experience when entering the City via the proposed under river transit tunnel of the North Shore Connector Project. A sloped plaza was designed adjacent to the station in the triangular parcel of property allows the underground track level wall of the station to be opened up to permit views out of the station into the city for arriving LRT passengers.

This Gateway Plaza serves as a view shed through which transit passengers enjoy their first views of the city. Conversely, the station platform serves as a stage for people enjoying the plaza who are able to watch people and trains arriving at and departing Gateway Station.

A number of techniques were used to achieve these goals. Working with lead project engineer, AECOM, the designers utilized conventional drawing, model building and Building information Modeling (BIM) to establish track alignments in relation to street level arrangements, and to assist in defining the extent and configuration of the station box, the headhouse and proposed civic plaza.

Using the principles defined in the RFP documents and interview process, the proposal evolved into a design solution that responds to both the needs of the Port Authority and the community at large:

• GATEWAY EXPERIENCE: Early on in the design process it was clear to us that establishing the “gateway experience” for passengers arriving at Gateway Station to celebrate their arrival to downtown Pittsburgh, should rival the motorist’s experience having traveled through the Fort Pitt tunnel, over the bridge and arriving in the city.

• SENSE OF PLACE: The Gateway station site is positioned at a critical intersection in the city’s urban fabric.

• DAYLIGHTING & VENTILATION: The station box was opened on its western side to introduce daylight to the platform.

• PEDESTRIAN CIRCULATION: The station headhouse provides clear visual cues to the open-ended structure. As an added benefit the public open space provides additional pedestrian capacity during large events.

• TRANSPARENCY: We developed a strategy to minimize visual impact of station “headhouse” on surrounding context through use of transparent materials and innovative geometries of the structural system.

http://www.archdaily.com/165471/in-progress-gateway-center-station-edge-studio-pfaffmann-associates/