When we think about the architectural icons – or even identifiers – of a city, we commonly think of skyscrapers, artworks or historical structures. However, for city residents, the most iconic structural pieces are often the infrastructure, particularly major train stations.
As functional community hubs, train stations are often the most used routes into city spaces for those commuting to work or otherwise given the difficult traffic and parking conditions that are a norm in urban centres. These stations become civic icons of their own.
It is for this reason that the redevelopment of a major transit hub is a large-scale effort that can significantly change the way in which a city runs and is identified. Such is the challenge that faces Metro Arkitekter as they endeavor to expand Sweden’s Helsingborg Central Station.While early renderings of the concept plans show a modern and highly sleek building, it is the internal layout that is expected to highlight the new station’s real value.
According to UNstudio’s Caroline Bos, one of the key determinants of a train station’s success if its connectivity to its surroundings, or its contextualization. As buildings that serve as destinations in name only, it is important that these spaces promote flow and relationships with the larger urban landscape. In light of this way of thinking, Helsingborg Central Station’s architects have incorporated non-reflective glass into the station’s walls, which makes the space both easy to navigate and highly connected to both exterior and other interior areas.
The layout of the expansion plans will consist of new southern platforms, entrances that connect to the City Park, and the relocation of train tracks to an underground southern location offering new connection opportunities to the new city precinct H+.
Much of the building’s architectural aesthetic inspiration has been taken from the adjacent parkland landscape, with internal trees and plants featuring in steel pillars. Adding to this level of green innovation000, solar cells will be incorporated into the buildings roof for energy generation, with rainwater funneled into the various green spaces for irrigation.
In redeveloping the building, city planners hope that it will become even more iconic and unifying in its place as a city civic icon.