This year, for the first time, the WAN AWARDS Urban Design sector was split into two separate awards: Urban Regeneration and Transport. The former looked for wide-scale schemes that have dramatically transformed areas of land across the world through urban intervention and the latter sought effective transport projects including transport nodes, airports, stations, ports, parking structures and bridges among other related schemes.
For this inaugural WAN Transport Award we looked to three industry experts: Denise Bennetts, Co-founder of Bennetts Associates; Dave Darnell, UK Rail Sector Director at WSP Engineers; and Alastair Lansley, Chief Architect of St. Pancras Station. From railway stations to transport hubs and bridges, the shortlist has it all…including two winners which will be announced next week.
10 Design’s Infinity Loop Bridge drew gasps of admiration from our jury panel, with Darnell stating: “I would say that this Infinity Bridge is way ahead of anything else we’ve seen here today; it is really special. As a civil engineer, I think this is extremely elegant.” His fellow jurors were also awed by the scheme, labelling it 'beautiful' and fast-tracking it to the shortlist.
On an entirely different scale is AREP Ville’s Wuhan Railway Station in China; an immense transport node located near the Yangtze River which is utilised by several hundred thousand passengers every day. In order to accurately assess each of the submissions, our jurors have to be able to visualise using the completed project first-hand, and Bennetts could clearly see this in AREP’s presentation, noting: “I think that view looking down the concourse at the trains is just fantastic.”
With so many entries to the WAN AWARDS programme, we are constantly discovering stunning hidden gems and exemplary small-scale schemes but we also have some more well-known projects vying for the title. Case in point: John McAslan + Partners’ King’s Cross Station Redevelopment - a project that no-one in the industry can fail to recognise, so broadly has its design excellence been touted.
Our jury were thrilled by the practice’s presentation, Bennetts enthused: “We were so impressed with the King’s Cross scheme. The great thing with the St Pancras/King’s Cross scheme is that it’s a massive campus and this is a component part. When the whole scheme is complete it will be a world beater.”
Wuhan Railway Station, Wuhan, China - AREP Ville
- I’d like to be associated with that! I love it! Without it being overly fussy, they’ve been able to create space. I hope that as a high speed railway station and when HS2 eventually gets built within the UK, we have some stations that actually mirror that
- Yes, they know how to design stations. This is a very nice solution
- I think that view looking down the concourse at the trains is just fantastic
- I was impressed with this scheme, very nice as an iconic building in the US rail business, it’s big and bold
- Full marks to HOK for making it brave
- I also quite like the social aspect, the way they have this public hall and they’ve incorporated commercials and future commercials and it still has a decent public space, which they do say is for social community, which is very intriguing
Denver Union Station Intermodal Hub, Denver, United States - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
- I don’t mind the scoop out, I quite like the fact that if that was complete, you’ve actually got that balance between the fine historic building and the new. I think this one is actually very interesting
- That’s right, it’s got a lovely sort of hierarchy to it
Infinity Loop Bridge, Zhuhai, China - 10 Design
- I love this
- I would say that this Infinity Bridge is way ahead of anything else we’ve seen here today, it is really special. As a civil engineer, I think this is extremely elegant
- It is a beautiful bridge
- I think the concept is brilliant!
- I’ve never seen anything like this!
- It’s interesting, the whole notion that we need transport infrastructure and we need to address how we actually have a really good quality and level of design & functionality, including all the stations and their canopies and so on
- I love this for the fact that there is a celebration of public transport in the public realm
King's Cross Station Redevelopment, London, United Kingdom - John McAslan + Partners
- It’s a fantastic effort; it really is such a revelation
- We were so impressed with the King’s Cross scheme, the great thing with the St Pancras / King’s Cross scheme is it’s a massive campus and this is a component part. When the whole scheme is complete it will be a world beater
- I quite agree, we need to give this one a special mention
Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus, Hong Kong - Aedas Limited
- This will be a super station! It’s a brave scheme, and massive