This project is for two new train stations and a connecting pedestrian path, located on the intersection of two existing lines in Hiroshima City, Japan, scheduled to open in spring 2015. It is expected that the new station will strengthen the transportation network of Hiroshima City, creating better accessibility from the suburbs to the center.
The following four design concepts were required in the competition; ‘A new urban open space regarding the local environment and history’, ‘Safety and comfort for everyone’, ‘Energy conservation’ and ‘Easy maintenance’.
We proposed a “City Gate” made from three components, the ‘Cylindrical Shell’ (a concrete structure, 90mm thick in the top and 180mm on the bottom), the ‘Cloud’ (a huge wire covering the cylindrical shell), and ‘Plaza Alfresco’ (a covered outdoor pedestrian slope). As a response to the heavy highway traffic surrounding the site and the dim atmosphere at night, we proposed a comfortable sheltered pedestrian space instead of making an unprotected open green space.
The ‘Cylindrical shell’ is a shelter which protects the pedestrians, with holes reducing environmental impact by natural ventilation. The inside of the shell acts as a reflector, creating a bright interior space.
The ‘Cloud’ is a structure reinforcing the shell, which at the same time is a fence for the train tracks. The ‘Cloud’ constantly changes its appearance in the night, creating dynamic light effects by reflecting the surrounding traffic. The ‘Plaza Alfresco’ is the open space which stretches between and smoothly connects the two stations. With its grand staircase and trees, many activities are to take place, other than transfer passengers passing through. Various ‘fluids’ such as light, wind sound and traffic interact in this space.
The form deriving from the site symbolizes the transition from the suburb to the center, creating the city’s new landmark to be visible from train and cars as well as pedestrians. We hope it will become a new form of urban space, familiar to the public.