Over the last 10 years, Atlanta’s traffic congestion has grown from the 15th to the 4th worst in the country. The city of Atlanta simply grew faster than the infrastructure could keep pace. Atlanta’s transportation challenges now are experiencing rapid growth, underinvestment, and high demand for the future. The project investigates the possibility of introducing the transit-oriented development (TOD) principles to a typical suburban municipality of Atlanta. Adopting a TOD model on the high-speed rail (HSR) station in Atlanta urban and transport context will impact and change the future city to city people’s urban lifestyle.

Design Challenge

The project base on the city of Atlanta’s transportation, undertaking the TOD model to create a vision for the future high-speed rail station which can adapt to a range of possible contexts: city-center, the edge of the city or adjoining an existing infrastructure hub, such as an airport and MARTA. TOD, as a kind of public transport oriented urban planning technology, advocate compact, mixed land use and public space layout. The design features consider three-dimensional urban development around the station and mixed-use development across existing railroad tracks, reuniting the city and reinventing the station as an integral part of the city center. The large scale parking spaces and plazas connected by a system of pedestrian walkways that extend to the surrounding area which promoting accessibility to a wide range of people and activities. The project aims to create a comfortable seamless and efficient transition between different modes of transportation, transforming the station into a new city center which blurring the edges between the city and the station. Moreover, the building’s skin was the most critical and challenging element. The project principally consists of two collaborating systems: a concrete structure combined with a space frame system. In order to achieve large-scale column-free spaces that allow the visitor to experience the spacious space of the interior, vertical structural elements are absorbed by the envelope and curtain wall system. Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) and Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyester (GFRP) were chosen as ideal cladding materials in this project.

Physical Context

The project seeks to expand the state's rail network and show a shift towards supporting transit-oriented developments. The site location which based on Lakewood-Fort McPherson Transit Station is halfway in the middle between Atlanta downtown and Atlanta airport. It creates a new urban destination and a coherent urban experience. The proposed route will connect the airport MARTA station which offers an alternative transit method for people traveling. The program aims to turn transit stations into the gateway of our community. The project seeks to combine the station with a mixture of commercial, residential and public transport and seeks to promote maximizing access to mass transit by fostering mixed-use development that in a compact, pedestrian-friendly, socially diverse, and interconnected with other places via public transport. At a practical level, the station is designed with access points to and from the main streets in order to further integrate a station into people’s daily lives. In this way, some of the leftover land in this area, serving as the site for new housing, offices, retail, and hotel structures. The seamless and efficient transition between different modes of transportation increases the use of public transport and transform the wasteland into a new vibrant urban district and infrastructural hub.