West Kowloon Railway Station
Structure: West Kowloon Railway Station
Location: West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Structural Engineer: AECOM, Buro Happold
Completed in 2018, the Hong Kong West Kowloon High Speed Rail Train Terminus was one of the most ambitious projects in Hong Kong in the 2010’s. Designed by the architecture firm Aedas, the development, spanning a large open plot of land in the prestigious West Kowloon area, has a total floor area of 400,000 sq. meters, creating huge amounts of public space for the people of Hong Kong to roam about.
Surrounding the development is more than 8900 sq meters of greenery and walking space, this area integrates completely with the surrounding West Kowloon Cultural District and allows for a separated area for pedestrians, as all car dedicated roads are either separated by the greenery, or by being built underground.
On the ground level, the development looks small yet majestic, protruding just a bit out of the land that is filled with trees and greenery. It has flowing arches that run the whole length of the above ground development. The planes seemingly gestures visitors towards the Harbour, gesturing the guests to the nearby museums and malls.
After entering the front doors, you are greeted by this vast atrium that spans 40 meters, they are held up by countless gleaming white pillars that protrude out of the ground, binding together in close harmony before terminating at the curved ceiling. Looking at the atrium, the train terminus houses an enormous ground floor that provides adequate seating space for visitors and tourists alike. The station consists of 6 long distance platforms and 6 short haul regional platforms that provide more than enough space for trains to allow passengers to disembark and embark on the trains.
The architect used the overwhelming amount of sunlight Hong Kong received in order to provide sunlight to even the lowest levels of the development. The arched curves that line the ceiling allow for ample amounts of sunlight to penetrate the glass panels and enter the main hall, casting a warm hue at the bottom level, and providing warmth in the air conditioned terminal.
Walking around the periphery of the interior of the terminal, you can notice the candle-like light fixtures that line the entire terminal. These light fixtures feel like they guide passengers to the entrances of the terminal, allowing passengers to be transported unknowingly to the places they need to be at.
With the West Kowloon Train Station closed temporarily since early 2020, (time of writing this article - July 2021), the West Kowloon Train Station is inaccessible to locals and passenger
s. However, its iconic design and prominent place in the Kowloon peninsula, will undoubtedly allow it to continue to be an important landmark in Hong Kong in the days to come.