Fort Lauderdale, FL – In a ceremony today, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. "Jack" Seiler, and All Aboard Florida executives unveiled designs for All Aboard Florida’s new Fort Lauderdale station, planned and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) in association with Zyscovich Architects. In addition to the Fort Lauderdale station, SOM is also planning and designing All Aboard Florida’s passenger stations in Miami and West Palm Beach.
All Aboard Florida is the only privately owned, operated, and financed project of its kind being developed in the United States today. The 235-mile rail network will connect South Florida to Orlando by utilizing the existing Florida East Coast Corridor infrastructure and creating new tracks into Central Florida. The transformational infrastructure project will provide a vital new service for Florida residents, business people, and visitors and eliminate more than three million car trips from the region’s roadways each year. Passenger service is anticipated to begin in late 2016.
“Fort Lauderdale is a dynamic city whose leadership understands the importance of creating new opportunities and solutions that keep up with the needs and demands of our increasingly mobile world,” says Michael Reininger, President and Chief Development Officer of All Aboard Florida. “As with our other planned stations in South Florida, All Aboard Florida will not only set a new standard in passenger rail, but will revitalize Fort Lauderdale’s downtown core fueling job and business growth, reducing road congestion, increasing tourism, delivering state and local tax revenues, and contributing long-term environmental benefits.”
“The unveiling of our design for the Fort Lauderdale station is a significant milestone in realizing All Aboard Florida’s vision,” states Roger Duffy, Design Partner at SOM. “Its design—lightweight and luminous—both responds to its setting and creates a striking infrastructural icon for the city.”
Given the large scale of the All Aboard Florida project, creating a sense of overall unity for the entire transportation network – while conveying a sense of identity for each individual station – is one of the primary design goals. The design of the Fort Lauderdale station achieves this balance by incorporating the lightness and transparency that characterizes the Miami terminal, while taking advantage of its unique site to create a distinctive landmark for the port city.
The 27,500-square-foot station will be situated in northern downtown Fort Lauderdale on 4.8 acres adjacent to existing Florida East Coast Railway tracks. The elevated station will feature a sequence of stacked glass boxes that will span across NW 2nd Street. Supported by concrete V-braces, the station will rise above surrounding buildings, serving as a powerful urban focal point.
The plan for the station itself is open and intuitive. Arriving passengers will enter a glazed ticketing lobby at grade level, with dedicated vehicular drop-off and pedestrian links to the city. Travelers will then ascend up an escalator to a bridge over NW 2nd Street, and enter a departures lounge, elevated 30 feet above the station platform. Additional banks of escalators will take waiting passengers down from the floating lounge, onto the shaded platform, and into their trains. The use of glass throughout this sequence of spaces provides a constant visual connection to the city as well as approaching trains. Viewed from a distance, the station’s stacked, dynamic form evokes a feeling of movement.
The Fort Lauderdale Station unveiling comes on the heels of the May 28th release of designs for All Aboard Florida’s Miami Station, an elevated multimodal hub in the city’s downtown. SOM’s designs for the rail network’s West Palm Beach station will be unveiled later this summer. Zyscovich Architects is serving as the Associate Architect and Planner for all three stations.
About All Aboard Florida
All Aboard Florida is an intercity passenger rail project being developed by Florida East Coast Industries, Inc. (FECI) — owner of Florida’s premier passenger rail corridor — that will connect Miami to Orlando with intermediate stations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This rail service will give Floridians and visitors a viable transportation alternative to congested highways and airport terminals. All Aboard Florida will provide a high‐quality experience for passengers and will be the first privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. For more information, visit www.AllAboardFlorida.com.
About Florida East Coast Industries
Florida East Coast Industries, LLC (FECI) is one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service commercial real estate, transportation, and infrastructure companies. Headquartered in Coral Gables, Fla., FECI has a rich history dating back over a century. Mr. Henry Flagler first established a predecessor company in 1892, which became a pioneer in the development of Florida's eastern coast. Today, FECI continues to transform Florida as the parent company to four distinct business lines including Flagler, a full-service commercial real estate company; All Aboard Florida, the United States’ first privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system; Flagler Global Logistics, an integrated logistics company that offers a wide range of logistics services and real estate solutions; and Parallel Infrastructure, a leader in third-party Right of Way (ROW) investments and management services. FECI is owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, LLC. For more information, visit www.feci.com.
About Zyscovich Architects
Zyscovich Architects (Zyscovich) is an international master planning, architecture, and interior design firm with offices in Miami, Orlando, New York City and Bogotá. The firm's innovative approach to planning, Real Urbanism®, embraces the history and economics of a community to create a unique vision that brings tangible value and improved quality of life to the area. The firm's commitment to customized solutions is also evident in its award-winning architectural design work for both public and private clients. Zyscovich's broad range of experience includes large-scale mixed-use, transportation, educational, commercial, retail, and multi-family residential, and hospitality projects.
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’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,700 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi.