Project: Sofia Station Competition
Client: Sofia Capital Municipality
Size: 5,080 SM
Collaborators : AIM
Some of the most successful mass transit systems take on an embryonic role in their mother cities development and growth, serving cities way beyond its basic function as transportation infrastructure and indeed, extensive research has be done in city like Hong Kong, initiated by transportation corporations to explore development potentials along and laterally on top of their subway and rail lines.
With respect to current station20 architecture design and planning. While a standard simple box station design provided a straight forward and low cost solution, a more integrated architecture and urban design offer more value to the public and the environment.
Urban design strategies
Our urban design vision for Sofia Station 20 focuses on the interaction of public open space, the transportation hub itself and associated ecological infrastructure. It consists of incisions defined as "open cuts" in the ground which connect the station and the landscape plazas at both the northern and southern end of the site. A further element is a park system aligned with the current heating pipe area, with an upper deck conceptualized as a form of ecological satellite which carries various green functions. A vertical core and a simple system of bicycle ramps provide interconnectivity between the eco-satellite and the open cut below.
These elements offer integration between infrastructure, landscape and architecture, linking the busy urban street life with a quiet, ecological experience. They strengthen the relationship between local transit and the community it serves.
The open cut concept minimizes underground construction and reduces backfilling of earth required behind the retaining structure. This lightens the structural load, and therefore cost, since there is less earth mass to hold back. Most importantly it will open up the once enclosed station and platform level to natural light and air.
It also introduces the opportunity for the creation of southern and northern entrance plazas, which integrate the proposed landscaped features and provide visually defining entrance conditions for the station.