'High speed pagoda': Atelier_62's design for the new Xi'An Train Station is inspired by the Terracotta Army
Two simple curved lines, like the ceilings of the ancient Chinese buildings, define a silhouette that will make the new Xi'An Train Station a reference for China and the whole world. Beneath this unique roof, which emanates tradition and future, the project classified second at the Manni Group Design Award comes to light.
High speed pagoda was designed by Luis Ruiz Andres, Juan Pérez García and Rodrigo Martínez García from Atelier_62, Spain, and selected by the prestigious international jury of the competition.
A roof to infinity
The centre of the project, the train arrival and departure platforms, lies just below the fictitious intersection of the two forms, thus generating a dramatic space that will create a sensory experience for the spectator. At all times, the aim has been to ensure that in each scene experienced by the visitor resounds the echo of the past that marked a society as unique as China’s. For this reason, in spite of seeking an image in line with the aesthetics of the new millennium, its bases and foundations respond to the most traditional architecture of the place.
As for the materiality of the whole, the building takes as reference elements the local imagination to make the future terminal an identity building for Xi'An: the terracotta warriors’ armor, a cultural symbol of the city, inspires the roof flakes that will reflect sunlight throughout the day, giving the station a unique character. On the other hand, the pillars of the complex will be covered with a dry terracotta cladding, a heritage of traditional local architecture, the renewed production of which will promote the development of the district’s economy, transcending the construction process beyond the physical limits of the station.
The attention to tradition can be appreciated in the planimetry too: in fact, the structuring of the space and the program is done as it was done in the old palaces: a privatization of public space through a succession of delimited squares, functional volumes that respond to the proposed demands. Both the hotel and the offices, shops and the hall, are distributed around singular squares, creating a scenographic promenade in which tradition is felt.
Xi'An's glorious past in the present
And what would Xi’An be without the sensational discovery of the Terracotta Army? The singular texture of pillars of the station's architectural complex reverberates the presence of those glorious warriors who followed the emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife: their 'soul' shines through the distribution of the plant and in each of the elevations and sections.
The Xi'An Train Station by Atelier_62 intends to respond to all the needs of contemporary society, starting from the tradition and history of the place, but without ever forgetting that past that has marked all those who will inhabit the space.