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SOM to Design High-Speed Rail Hub in China

Image © Crystal CG

Chicago, IL: SOM's Chicago Office has won a competition to design a high-speed rail station and transportation hub at the heart of Tianjin, a new city being planned in north-east China. The station will be the terminal for China’s premier long-range, high-speed rail line featuring a train capable of traveling in speed of upwards of 400 kilometers per hour.

The Tanggu high-speed rail station is situated at the heart of a new city is being constructed in north-east China. Located east of Beijing in the city of Tianjin, the Tanggu district, master planned by SOM Chicago, is designed as a modern city for approximately 15 million inhabitants. The rail station acts as an intermodal hub serving over 6,000 passengers in the peak hour and will allow transfers between rail, subway and bus lines. The station is sited within a large, 22 hectare city park, and is intended to have a distinguished presence while not imposing on the park. 

According to Ross Wimer, SOM Design Partner for the project, “The innovative technology of our station design was inspired by the high speed trains it has been created to accommodate.”

The shape of the roof structure was derived from growth patterns found in nature. The steel framing follows lenticular lines of force that have been defined by a parametric computer model. Our initial analysis shows that the shell structure will be uniquely efficient, lightweight and economical.

Since the bulk of the station facilities are below grade, skylights play an important role in the design. The daylight openings have been created to allow light to filter down to the platform level which is 21 meters below grade. The skylights within the shell structure are fitted with louvers which are angled to limit direct sunlight during summer months and enhance daylight during the winter.

A series of sustainable strategies will make the station a significant example of the new energy efficient designs being advanced in China. In addition to the high performance skylights, a ground source heat pump, thermal chimneys, and bioswale have been integrated into the design of the station and the park.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore,Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world, with a 75‐year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm has been honored with more than 1,400 awards for quality, innovation,and management. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Brussels, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.