Taiyuan South Station District
International urban planning competition 1st Prize / subsequent planning commission
The planning site is located in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi Province. The surrounding areas of the newly constructed High-Speed Railway Station are located between the old city centre and its new high-tech and development areas, serving as sub-center within the urban development.
Taiyuan’s South Station is the second biggest transportation hub in China’s vast Northern Plain, planned for millions of passengers and representing one of the biggest development opportunities for the city.
Every railway station is at the same time central and initial point of urban development and representative name card of the city for incoming passengers. RhineScheme’s comprehensive approach was to create an urban district with outstanding appearance, which nonetheless creates a smooth and continuous link with the surrounding urban patterns.
Several urban elements have been developed and integrated into an overall urban fabric:
Firstly the railway station itself serves as main linkage within the urban structure. Facing south-west and north-east, its two plazas are equipped with suitable uses for the surrounding areas. The planning makes them memorable elements by showcasing a corporate image of the city in appropriate scale. Beside the two main plazas, a variety of smaller squares for urban life and public exchange are located in commercial and mixed-use areas around the station. One major goal was to enable a pedestrian walkthrough with few disturbances and short distances.
The ‘Green Spine’ – beside station and plazas – is the third landmark to create a unique urban appearance with its sequence of high-rise buildings placed in an organic landscape with rich topography. Open from and towards the railway station side, it offers various integrated shopping facilities. More closed and covered by plants from the city side, it serves as noise buffer for the elevated highway. The ‘Green Spine’ will be experienced as a vivid promenade within a pearl-string of office towers, shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. It is attractor and destination for the whole district.
Close to the railway station, mixed-use quarters serve as top address for companies’ headquarters, offices, service facilities, medical practices, consultants’ premises, restaurants and cafés. Each quarter has its own public area with commercial facilities and is directly connected to leisure and sports facilities along the railway line. Housing areas are forming the second basic pattern with a refined mixture of public areas with central facilities and green recreational parks.
Due to the complex traffic hub on different levels, the dense city functions and the sheer amount of citizens, the area will be burdened by heavy vehicle traffic. More than the number or size of street lanes, their optimized connections are precondition for a smooth traffic flow. An effective traffic management system will focus the traffic flow to few main roads, while the remaining road network is only determined by local traffic. A circular traffic concept connects the inner traffic with the traffic systems of all development areas and further with the superior transportation network.