Meant to connect Hong Kong to Beijing, the Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus is said to become the largest underground high-speed rail station in the world. This stunning modern concept was designed by Andrew Bromberg of international architecture studio Aedas and its completion is programmed for 2015. In three years time, the huge 4,628,481 square feet (430,000 square meters) contemporary terminal in central Hong Kong will be prepared with 15 tracks for high-speed trains reaching maximum speeds of 124 mph. Helping travelers get from one city to the other in 48 minutes opposed to the current 100 minutes train ride, the dazzling terminal is also an example of how far technology and architecture have come together. Starting with the first impression, this undulating building will change the city’s face – promising to proudly display Hong Kong’s bold and vanguard character. Rising 148 feet high above the surroundings, the structure’s roof line acts as dynamic-shaped pedestrian trails alongside green spaces. This park/terminal hybrid fabricates a promised view of the future – we can’t wait to see it finished and on-line.
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.