6/22/2011

High Speed Rail with a Pantheonic Twist

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP are the architects of the new Tianjin High Speed Rail Station.  Located east of Beijing in the city of Tianjin, the Tanggu district is planned as a modern city for approximately 15 million residents.  China's premier long-range, high-speed rail line, capable of traveling at speeds of upwards 400 Kilometers per hour, terminates at the Tianjin Station.  The rail station situated within a large 22 hectare park, acts as an intermodal hub serving over 6,000 passengers during park hours, and will allow transfers between rail, subway and bus lines.






The station's roof is based on lenticular lines that define the path of load along the surface of the building, while its shape is related to growth patterns found in nature.  Placing the bulk of of the station facilities below grade, allowed for high performance skylights which allow light to filter down to the platform level 21 meters below grade.  The skylights are the most impressive design feature for a station of this magnitude.  The metal framed dome and punctured oculus at its center is very reminiscent of the coffered concrete dome and oculus of the Pantheon in Rome, built by Apollodorus of Damascus. Both structures relate in beauty but the latter still reigns as pure perfection.  With its massive spanning steel trusses and brilliant luminescence the Tianjin station is sure to be admired and treasure by many.





Pantheon, Rome Italy