MAD Architects unveils their design for “Train Station in the Forest” in Jiaxing, a key city for several major industries in southeast China. The project covers an area of 35.4 hectares, encompassing the plazas to the north and south, a renovation of the adjacent People’s Park and a full-scale reconstruction of the historical Jiaxing train station, which was originally constructed in 1907 but destroyed in the second Sino-Japanese war. The capacity of the train station will be updated with the new design, and it will now serve six tracks instead of five, with overall passenger capacity expected to reach 5.28 million people per year. Having begun construction at the end of 2019, the project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Drawing inspiration from Jiaxing’s historic and cultural contexts, MAD’s proposal includes a 1:1 rebuilding of the historic station building, while creating a new train station underground. The historical building, which will stand alongside the new solar panel-topped buildings, will form the entrance to the new train station. The main transportation and commercial functions are to be located in the basement level, allowing the ground-floor space to be given back to nature. Shared space between Jiaxing’s citizens and travelers, this new green urban center will transform into a “train station in the forest.”
MAD's development will see two sunken waiting halls lit through skylights and glass curtain walls built on either side of existing overground platforms, while a basement level will contain extensive shopping areas under a redeveloped park. The station concourse, platforms, and waiting hall are hidden underground, while the building’s single-story height above ground level humbly respects the scale of the old station building. To the south of the station, a new above-ground commercial area is created, enclosed by landscaped public lawns that can host a variety of events, festivals, concerts, or markets.