Manni Group Design Award: the Swiss DS-WORKS wins the third prize with 'Chariot', inspired by the bronze cart of the Chinese emperor

26 Mar 2020

Following Italy and Spain, a studio in Geneva got the third prize of the Manni Group Design Award: Daniel Szalapski and Antonino Scaglione of the Swiss DS-WORKS won with Chariot, the project for the new Xi'An Train Station in the shape of umbrella Dome.

The bronze chariot of the emperor

Chariot's concept was conceived after extensive research into the Chinese city and its rich historical and architectural heritage. The idea of ​​a Dome for the railway terminal derived from Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s bronze chariot, in particular the circular bronze parasol that protected the driver from the elements. The chariot was discovered about 20 meters west of the Qin Shi Huang mound, which remained in history for reuniting the kingdoms of China in 221 BC; five times he made a tour of the newly united empire, with the most majestic motorcade in the world then known.

Even the secondary elements such as the arches of the circular building represent shapes found in traditional Chinese architecture.

The concept for the Xi'An train station respects the rich history of the eastern metropolis and will serve as a contemporary architectural representation of the past.

A sustainable structure

The project is based on three main elements. First, the main terminal of the railway station inspired by Qin Shi Huang's bronze parasol; second, the satellite buildings inspired by the emperor's white horses pulling the cart; lastly, the large square that leads to the station, which dives from the wide multipurpose area that will host markets, parades, and displays.

The colour of the construction also derives from the three main colors used to paint the original wagon, mainly white, blue and green. The building’s external surfaces are painted white to reduce the attraction of solar heat and aid in the amount of light reflected into the building’s interior. Highly selective glass is used to generate light transmission and a low solar factor. The deployable sunshades – this time true – also stop direct sunlight, facilitating the thermoregulation of the building and making it much more sustainable.

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