16.11.2009

Birmingham New Street Station

La propuesta de FOA para la Birmingham New Street Station busca producir una arquitectura icónica que, más allá de crear una fuerte impresión, sea capaz de comunicar la función del edificio al público. Para lograrlo, queríamos que la estación New Street expresara la naturaleza dinámica de las vías férreas. Los motores del ferrocarril, los patrones de bifurcación de las vías, o la distorsión de la percepción producida por el movimiento han sido la inspiración para la expresión arquitectónica del proyecto. Las ondulaciones y las suaves curvas de los rieles han sido integradas a la geometría del edificio y transferidas a la ciudad ornamentada, transmitiendo su carácter histórico como un centro de transporte, donde los sistemas de los diferentes tipos de tráfico -como los famosos canales, las vías romanas, etc.- convergen y se superponen. Nuestro diseño se propone propiciar una nueva percepción de los entornos urbanos alrededor de la estación.

Birmingham New Street Station is an important transport hub and a key aspect of the city’s public realm. Occupying an important position in the city and handling a large amount of traffic, it provides the first impression of Birmingham to a large influx of visitors to the Midlands.

FOA’s proposal for Birmingham New Street Station seeks to produce an iconic architecture that, beyond creating an impression, will be able to communicate the function of the building to the public. To achieve this we would like New Street Station to provide expression to the dynamic nature of the railway. The rail engine, the bifurcating patterns of the rails, or the distortion of perception produced by movement have been the inspiration for the architectural expression of the project. The undulating, smooth forms of the track field have been transferred and embedded into the geometry of the building to ornate the city and to convey its historical character as a transportation hub, where various traffic systems – such as the famous canals, the roman roads, etc, converge and overlay. Our design aims to trigger a new perception of the urban settings around the station.

The cladding of the station will be built as a stainless steel skin which will conceal the future plant areas on the roof and wrap around the existing car park. As the cladding cannot be related to the interior of the building for practical reasons, the design of the façade has been related to the exterior space, making the building an instrument to intensify the perception of urban life in Birmingham’s inner city.

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By turning the external rain screen into a warping, reflective stainless steel surface, Birmingham New Street Station will be designed to produce a controlled reflection of the surrounding urban field to reflect the once dark, now bright, Birmingham sky, the crowds of passengers, the trains entering and exiting the station, the hues of the sunset and sunrise and other dynamic regimes present at the site. To highlight the four main access points, large eye-shaped media screens which will broadcast railway information or news and commercials have been integrated in the façade.

The field of reflections which constitutes the external envelope of the building, and produces a consistent identity, differentiates depending on the opportunities on each side of the building.

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