‘Train Station in the Forest’ hides an underground transit hub

If everything stays on schedule, the city of Jiaxing, China will have a modern new train station in July 2021. Jiaxing has an advantageous position near Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. A MAD Architects project, this train station drew inspiration from the city’s history and culture to create the dazzling design. The station is designed to capture natural light and bring it inside, filling up spaces to make them feel bright and airy.

The basement level is dedicated to transport and commerce. But above, the ground floor is for nature. The natural forest here will serve as an urban oasis. It’s a design called a “borderless park,” an innovative element that truly showcases the idea of living in harmony with nature.

Related: MAD’s ethereal Yiwu Grand Theater will “float” on Zhejiang waters

curved white building and spherical building

Led by Ma Yansong, MAD Architects worked with heritage architecture experts in order to reconstruct the features of the historic train station here. The old station building will become the new Jiaxing Railway History Museum. The station platforms, concourse and waiting hall are all new and tucked away underground. It’s a design that honors the original, single-story height of the historic station that once sat here.

A tramway, metro, parking area, taxi stands and bus terminals are connected to the design, turning the station into a transportation hub. The entire design includes plazas to the north and south of the station. The nearby People’s Park will also be renovated as part of the masterplan.

Skylights and glass curtain walls allow the natural light to enter the subterranean levels. As visitors move from the waiting hall to the platforms using the underground tunnel, they will see the old station building overhead, a unique feature that truly honors the past.

The design allows the natural world to grow freely on the ground floor while still serving as a modern center of transport and commerce. It’s an ambitious and innovative plan that shows how technology can move forward while still honoring and preserving not just nature, but human history, too.

+MAD Architects

Images via MAD Architects

Written by KC Morgan

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