Aedas designs spectacular new rail terminal in West Kowloon
The high-speed rail terminus station will connect Hong Kong to various major cities in the Mainland with the largest rail network in our history. Located centrally in Hong Kong within the city’s urban realm and equipped with fifteen tracks, the facility will probably be the largest below ground terminus station in the world. West Kowloon Terminus will function more like an international airport than a rail station; this means that the facility needs to have both custom and immigration controls for departing and arriving passengers.
The site’s proximity to the future West Kowloon Cultural District and to Victoria Harbour required a design which was highly influenced by civic demand. Adding to the challenge was the planning of a 294,000 sq m of topside commercial development. As the 'gateway' to Hong Kong, it was considered vital to connect the station with the surrounding urban context and make one aware of the city’s character whether arriving or departing. In order to do this, the design efficiently compacted all of the supporting space to allow for a large void down into the departure hall below, with added apertures going down to the track platforms.
The outside ground plane bends down to the hall and the roof structure above gestures toward the harbour. The culmination of these ideas is an observation deck on top of the entrance building’s crest. At the top, the perfect view acts as an extension of the journey into Hong Kong - into and beyond the West Kowloon Cultural District; Victoria Harbor and the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. The station may be visible below as a reminder of where one came from but the future paths of discovery present themselves invitingly beyond.