Spaces of transit – metro, railway and maritime stations – have always been a significant and nodal presence in the fabric of the city. Today, for a society whose very raison d’être is to be sought in the act of movement, these spaces are an inevitable part of urban life. Public spaces par excellence and the nodes of a network linking the local dimension with a global sentiment, they are functionally and physiologically indispensable to people’s lives. For the flows that cross them, for the new functions they fulfil, for the immense economic investments and efforts in the fields of design and construction they demand, these spaces of transit have become the driving forces behind a new “urbanity” based on the search for new spatial qualities. What is more, for some years they are the object of a particularly active field architectural experimentation. The selection of projects proposed in this issue of the magazine offers solutions that differ in typology, functional organisation, spatiality and relations with context. That said, each is a complex intervention in which Architecture takes the place of a simple and anonymous functional container to become enriched by new and fecund inputs.
SPACES OF TRANSIT - Pg. 4
NEW RAILWAY STATIONS. MORE THAN STATIONS, NO LONGER NON-PLACES - Pg. 12
The Torino Porta Susa high-speed rail station was created to improve the Paris-Rome rail link. It has immediately become a preferential gate between Italy and Northern Europe. More than a space of passage, this important work of architecture decisively assumes the connotations of an urban area and spatial reference within the rigid street grid of Turin, at the same time renewing a large inhabited area and becoming a landmark building. Tthe station is a 385-meter long transparent galleria that can be crossed both longitudinally and transversally, making it accessible to visitors and local residents alike: in addition to being a hub for high-speed rail travel, regional trains, subway, buses, trams, taxis, cars, motorcycles and bicycles, the north-south axis of the station also hosts a wide range of services, including cafes, shops, restaurants and kiosks that ensure the vivacity of the station independently of its primary function.
The Hauptbahnhof, fully operational since 2015, is the most important transit hub in Austria for national and international traffic, with more than 1.000 trains and approximately 145.000 passengers using the station each day. The new project for Vienna Central Station was a fundamental part of the city’s transport policy as, for the first time, it allowed trains to converge from all directions toward a single point. The new transit station replaced the historic “Southern Station” situated near the Belvedere in the outskirts of the city. The old station, entirely demolished and rebuilt, is part of a much wider project to renew and relaunch an area occupying one million square meters. The project led to the development of a new urban planning model. It involved not only the construction of the rail station, but more importantly an entire neighbourhood,
The project by UN Studio aims at the creation of an uninterrupted fluid and curvilinear environment in which ceilings, walls and floors are part of a continuous transition and the urban landscape is fused with the hall of the building. State-of-the-art computer software and parametric design allowed the architects to propose a building that is topologically folded in on itself, in which spaces overlap and mix, substantiated in complex and continuous forms to create new architectural typologies. The complex geometry of the design involves the twisting of all of the structural elements. Sinuous lines develop from the ground and follow the contours of the site to define a network of offset planes and ramps running from the entry plaza into the heart of the station.
The new Casa-Port rail station, completed in 2015, is part of a wide plan for the urban renewal of the area immediately adjacent to the port of Casablanca, which serves as a connection between the old city and its urban expansion toward the north.The building is a hinge between the large plaza to the south-west and the rail platforms to the north-east. It develops on two storeys; a commercial area of 4,400 mq hosts a variety of activities including cafés, restaurants and services, with a prayer room situated far from the chaos and the noise of the city. All of the services related to transportation overlook the large void of the main atrium at ground floor, filled with restaurants, fast-food outlets, kiosks, automated vending machines, automated bank tellers and retail outlets. Beneath this level is a two-storey underground parking garage for approximately 400 vehicles.
Inaugurated on 25 April 2016, the building is part of a wider renewal project for this waterfront city. It serves as an important terminal for Mediterranean cruise ships, managing passengers arriving and departing from tourist destinations in the city of Salerno. The Municipal Master Plan by Oriol Bohigas from the early 1990s already contained a strong idea about restoring the relationship between land and sea by valorising the waterfront. A few years later the plan enveloped the area of the maritime terminal and defined a strategic position for those arriving from the water and for those observing the building’s surroundings from inside it. The terminal consists of three interconnected elements: the administrative offices, the ferry terminal and the cruise ship terminal. The main level, on the north-west side, is connected to the level of the quay by a low stair, while to the sides a two way ramp leads down to vehicle and short term parking.
The design transforms the rail station into a spacious, luminous and vibrant fulcrum, that brings infrastructural space and urban space together and reciprocally integrates them. This station-bridge, which allows passengers to cross the rail platforms on a new system of pedestrian paths, reconnects the area to the south with that to the north in order to trigger virtuous processes of urban regeneration. The lively and pulsating heart of this new work of architecture is the central atrium, with an area of three and a half times the previous space and a height of 35 metres; a true covered plaza that filters natural light through a curving truss roof separating wide domed ETFE skylights.
Naples is in the midst of an extraordinary period of changes of its metropolitan public rail transit system. The new metro stations, which it would be better to refer to as “Stations of Art”, bond the needs of a transit infrastructure with Contemporary Art and Architecture to create museums that are crossed, visited and used every day by thousands of passengers/visitors. The Municipio station is the most complex station of the entire Naples Subway line. The project modified on many occasions in the wake of continuous discoveries and archaeological findings, occupies essentially “two levels”, both physical and mental, that are indissolubly integrated with one another: one external, solar, “en plein air” that exists in the urban and territorial dimension, the design of an outdoor space, an absence of volumes, a void, and thus highly complex; an internal, hypogeal space concentrated on the historic-archaeological dimension; a design of interior and buried space that is equally complex.
- Sperimentazione progettuale e dimensione professionale: omaggio a Lucio Passarelli – Pag. 98
– La Stazione di Reggio Emilia come volano per la valorizzazione del territorio – Pag. 102
– Ampliamento di un edificio storico nel quartiere Prati a Roma – Pag. 104
– La casa sul monte Asama di Kazuo Shinohara: una lezione ancora attuale – Pag. 106
– Reciprocal. Un plug-in urbano ridefinisce lo spazio pubblico – Pag. 108
LIBRI - Pag. 110
NOTIZIE - Pag. 112
PANTOGRAFO - Pag. 117
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