Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been commissioned by the city of Västerås, Sweden, to design a new transportation hub for trains, buses, taxis, bikes, and pedestrians. The Västerås Travel Center will be the anchor for a larger urban development program called the “3B – Build Away the Barriers,” an effort to redesign a 17-acre area surrounding the existing railway station. Currently, two train tracks separate the neighborhoods around the city, rather than linking them.
To solve this issue, the new 12,000-square-meter (129,000-square-foot) building will connect the isolated areas. The roof will maintain the four corners of the current landscape, and look as if it is floating from afar. The roof's shape is a rhombus, but the curvature makes it appear as “a thin sheet, draped from four corners,” according to the firm’s site. The defining corners will also be the entrance and exit points.
The platform area, a succeeding lower level that mimics the roof’s shape, is opened and extends into the streets of Västerås. When entering the center, this floor is curved and elevated, creating a built-in bridge over the open-space area housing the loading docks for buses and trains.
Restaurants, cafes, bike parking, retail, and other facilities are situated alongside the loading stations to enhance the free flow of commuters through the center and out to the city.