MAD’s first train station aims to be a new model for Chinese transportation infrastructure

MAD has just completed the renovation and expansion of an old station in Jiaxing, near Shanghai, aiming to make it both more humane and innovative.

MAD Architects has completed the Jiaxing Train Station, its first project for the reconstruction and expansion of a transportation infrastructure. Located in the center of Jiaxing, a historic city 100 kilometers southwest of Shanghai, the project replaces an old train station that stood on the site between 1995 and 2019, with an area of only 4,000 square meters, no longer suitable for a rapidly expanding city.

Render depicting who the new station of Jiaxiing will look like

MAD's project departs from typical monumental Chinese stations, recreating on a large scale the original old station that stood on the site in 1907, to which a suspended metal roof has been added, with solar panels to power the building. The new station is designed to be both more “human” and more efficient. To pay tribute to the city's history, various architectural experts and scholars have analyzed a large amount of data to accurately reconstruct the old station.

Approximately 210,000 red and green bricks have been made from mud sourced from the nearby lake, and other materials also come from local sources. The minimalist interiors have been clad with honeycomb anodized aluminum panels in the waiting hall, ceiling, and tunnel walls to dampen noise. By 2025, it is expected that the total passenger capacity will reach 5.28 million people per year, with an hourly capacity of about 2,500 people at the peak of passenger traffic. Underground, various modes of transportation have been reorganized and integrated to efficiently connect to the entire urban system.

Ma Yansong's sketch outlining the station project

Ma Yansong says: “We should rethink and redefine the spatial patterns of such transportation infrastructure buildings in China. We can […] make them urban public spaces with transport functions, natural ecology, and cultural life, where citizens are happy to go, stay, meet, and enjoy.”

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