Västerås Travel Centre

Online Exclusive Feature, Urban Design / 2021

Västerås Travel Centre

May 24, 2021

Västerås Travel Centre is a new infrastructural hub in the heart of one of Sweden’s largest cities. Behaving like a dynamic urban node and visual landmark, the travel centre will connect the neighbourhoods of Västerås and the city’s flows and create a new public destination in the city centre.The final design has now been revealed to the public and construction is slated to begin in 2022 and is expected to be finalised in 2025.

SOCIAL AGENDA

The travel centre is designed as a piece of social infrastructure, shaped for the flow of people and public life. The intent is to celebrate movement and create a welcoming, warm and transparent mobility hub that becomes an important social and economic node.

The raised corners of the travel centre clearly mark the most important entries in relationship to the city’s flows. The roof answers dilemmas caused by the city’s ongoing development by connecting the transportation hub’s complex programmes in a clearly readable unit.

Placing the lowest point of the roof towards the middle over the centre points of the bridges, the roof follows the travel centre’s programme, and does not encroach on any commercial surfaces. The roof shape meets the sweeping gestures of the ramps in low nodes over the track area, and a dramatic pull is created between the city centre and Lake Mälaren.

Terraces surrounding the travel centre create natural connections to Vasaparken and Hamnparken, and meeting places that act as extensions of the city’s rooms, floors, parks and streets. Visitors and locals can enjoy lookout points, meeting places, hang out spots, playful edges for skating, resting in the sun, WiFi zones, and seating to observe the city.

DESIGN & PLANNING

The boundary between inside and outside is blurred by the building’s glazed and long curved façades, ensuring light and openness at the building’s edges, while active façades increase the feeling of security. Biophilic spaces carry the landscape indoors, where travellers can move under a protective roof with platform connections down to the trains.

To let light in and circulate air, the ceiling has been sliced with a zigzag line, from one side to the other. This load-bearing design element extends the roof between the perimeter of the façade, creating an indoor landscape free of pillars for commercial programs to be designed without obstacles.

Along with the bus terminal and integrated platform area is a bright, modern bicycle garage, travel services, commercial areas, restaurants, offices, event areas, and exhibition spaces. The resort’s facilities also include outdoor bicycle parking, taxi zones, areas for boarding and disembarking, as well as short-term parking. The new bus square will double the size of the current bus terminal, and have 37 stops for buses in public transport. The commercial bus traffic will be moved to the south side of the tracks.

The landscape unites across the railway and is shaped by flow. The fast flow that takes the travellers directly to their destination, the slow flow that takes visitors on a journey of discovery and a coffee break, the bicycle flow that swings slightly in the landscape, and a winding flow that provides accessibility for everyone. On top of this landscape an environment of commercial surfaces with street furniture and protected zones gives an organic and soft expression. Residents will be able to cross the railroad tracks and travel between the districts all year round and around the clock via the separated pedestrian and bicycle passage. Ground heating and lighting will be available for cold and dark periods.

SUSTAINABILITY

The design of the new travel centre will work with the building’s integrated solar cell system on the vast roof surface to harvest the sun’s energy, with the capability of covering nearly 70 per cent of the project’s energy demand. The indoor climate will be managed through natural ventilation, and heating through underfloor heating, and the potential use of floor cooling and rainwater recycling. Conditions will also be improved for public transport in the city, providing a natural flow for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as passengers switching between modes of transport. These benefits along with charging stations and places for micro-mobility will reduce citizen’s reliance on cars.

PROJECT DATA

Project NameVästerås Travel Centre 
StatusUnder Construction
Gross Floor Area16.963 square metres
ClientVästerås municipality
LocationVästerås, Sweden
Partners-in-ChargeBjarke Ingels, David Zahle
Design LeadMarie Lancon
TeamAileen Koh; Allen Dennis Shakir; Anders Bruntse; Anders Holden Deleuran; Dalma Ujvari,Federica Fogazzi; Geetika Bhutani; Ida Linnea Elvira Maria Lujak; Laura Wätte; Marius Tromholt-Richter; Yunus Alperen Basak
ImagesBIG – Bjarke Ingels Group ; Playtime

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