More Than Just a Stopover

Led by Ma Yansong, MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing’s ‘Train Station in the Forest’

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

Fact File
Project: Jiaxing Train Station
Location: Jiaxing, China
Typology: Transportation Infrastructure
Site Area: 354,000 sqm
Building Area: Around 280,000 sqm

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

The train station is situated in the center of Jiaxing, an interconnected city in southeast China close to Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. The project brief covers an area of 35.4 hectares, encompassing Jiaxing Train Station, the plazas to the north and south, and a renovation of the adjacent People’s Park.

MAD’s proposal includes a 1:1 rebuilding of the historic station building derived from archival studies, while creating a new train station underground. The new station will be bright, efficient, and human-scaled, with a flood of natural light to create a friendly, comfortable environment.

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

MAD’s proposal places the busy transportation junction underground, freeing the ground floor of obtrusive infrastructure. A careful consideration to landscape and massing has formed an axis with the reconstructed old station building at its core. In front of the station, a canopy of shaped trees create natural shades for the plaza. Upon completion, the scheme will become a “borderless park” where citizens and travelers can enjoy the natural environment.

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

Rebuilding the Historic Station
The original Jiaxing Train Station was built in 1907 and opened in 1909, but was later destroyed by war in 1937. MAD engaged with scholars, consultants, and experts in heritage architecture to recover data which might aid the project. The relationship and scale between canopies, bridges, platforms, and the building were calculated, allowing for a more accurate reconstruction of the historic station and its features. Upon completion, the old station building will become the Jiaxing Railway History Museum.

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

A Train Station in the Forest
Looking south along the central axis, the rebuilt station building and the “floating” metal roof of the new station will blend with the forest trees. The station concourse, platforms, and waiting hall are hidden underground, while the building’s single-story height above ground level respects the scale of the old station building.

An abundance of natural light floods into the underground waiting hall through skylights and glass curtain walls on the ground floor, creating a subterranean space which is both open and bright. As people move from the waiting hall to the platforms via a futuristic underground tunnel, they observe the rebuilt old station building overhead. Thus, a sharp yet composed contrast is showcased between the past and future. On the roof of the new station, solar photovoltaic panels will be installed to enhance the project’s sustainability.

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

A Commercial Zone underneath the Forest
MAD’s scheme also places the station’s commercial functions underground, linking the train station with the city’s transportation hub. In addition, sunken courtyards connect the underground commercial space with the parkland above. 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.

Bus terminals, a tramway, metro, car parking, and taxi stands are interconnected, creating an efficient transportation portfolio accessed from the train station, and fulfilling the demand for transport facilities created by the new commercial zone.

MAD Architects unveil their design for Jiaxing's Train Station in the Forest

MAD’s scheme accommodates the existing passenger demands for the station, while also allowing for future sustainable development and expansion. The capacity of the train station will be upgraded to three platforms serving six tracks. The scheme’s emphasis on connecting with its surroundings will also serve to increase human activity and visitors to the area, enhance its commercial offering, and ultimately rejuvenate the old city center with a new vitality.