TERMINUS TO FUNCTION MORE LIKE AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT THAN A RAIL STATION
BY Zoe Phoon
The 380,000sq m multi-storey high speed rail (HSR) terminus station looks awe-inspiring and it will probably be the world’s largest below ground terminus.
It’s designed by Andrew Bromberg at Aedas, a leading global architecture and design practice.
He explained that as the gateway to Hong Kong, it is considered vital to connect the West Kowloon Terminus station with the surrounding urban context and make arriving or departing passengers aware that “I’m in Hong Kong”.
The design compacted all supporting spaces more efficiently to allow for a very large void down into the departure hall below.
The outside ground plane bent down to the hall and the roof structure above gestures towards the harbour.
The result is an around 40m high volume which focuses all attention through the south façade towards the view of Hong Kong’s Central skyline and Victoria Peak beyond, Bromberg said on the Aedas website.
The West Kowloon Station is the terminus of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.
Currently under construction by MTR Corporation Ltd and expected to open in 2018, it’s the only station in the Hong Kong Section and will connect to the mainland China Section through a dedicated tunnel.
According to the expressraillink.hk website, the 11-hectare underground terminus is located in West Kowloon next to the West Kowloon Cultural District.
The express rail link (ERL) is expected to carry 109,200 passengers daily, similar to the current cross-boundary traffic at the Hong Kong International Airport.
The terminus and major facilities will be mainly underground on four main levels accommodating Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities, departure lounges, passenger arrival and departure halls, duty-free outlets, F&B outlets, station parking and loading facilities, and underground track area with nine long haul platforms and six shuttle platforms.
Reportedly, the original scheduled 2012 opening was delayed to 2015 following the shake-up of HSR construction across China after the 2011 Wenzhou train collision.
Then major flooding in the railway tunnels under construction in 2014 damaged the tunnel boring machines.
Now, the HSR network is scheduled for 3Q 2018.