The future of small and medium sized stations lies in embedding them in the communities they serve. Stations will no longer be mere utilitarian spaces but instead places to enjoy on a daily basis. They will become multi-functional: ideal places for exchange, they will have a strong social focus. The local station becomes the face of the community it serves.
Our proposals begin with an urban design approach – connecting stations to the adjacent principal streets and reducing dominance of vehicles. A pedestrian-priority public space is at the front of every station. To maximise use of existing station buildings a modular system of Railway Arches will be deployed outside - providing ticketing, information and micro-retail while releasing the existing building to become a Community Hall or flexible Workspace, serving an increasingly mobile workforce. The Railway Arches stitch stations into their surroundings, creating places to meet, work, wait and play.
The modular system begins with the Arch as its basic unit. Using steel connections with cross-laminated timber (CLT) infill panels, the system is easy to assemble and demount – allowing it to be implemented and removed, responding to change. Rainwater is collected and stored within modular benches for re-use and PVs generate energy for lighting and power. The wider station environment is enhanced through modular planting, creating biodiversity corridors.