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First look: Foster + Partners reveals Ourense Station designs

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AJ100 top ranked practice Foster + Partners has revealed its designs for the refurbishment and extension of the Ourense Station in Galicia, Spain 

Designed in collaboration with local Spanish architect Juan Cabanelas, plans for the scheme in north west Spain include overhauling the existing station, a new plaza, and a public park and pedestrian walkway over the tracks. 

The practice says the scheme, which includes upgrading the existing railway line for high speed trains and creating a direct connection to the nearby bus stop, will provide a ’new social focus’ in the city. As part of another scheme, it is being proposed to relocate the bus stop to the western edge of the train station. 

¬ foster + partners 2020 fp621496

¬ foster + partners 2020 fp621496

Source: Foster + Partners

Designs for extension and refurbishment of Ourense Station by Foster + Partners and Juan Cabanelas

Architect’s view

Creating a distinctive addition to the current station, the design is an ensemble of concrete plates on slender columns that provide shelter from Ourense’s abundant rain and high temperatures in the summer. The concrete matches the colour of the existing station’s granite, with the roofs designed as a modular system requiring minimal maintenance while also allowing for future growth.

The entrance canopy defines a new portico, with cafes and shops animating the front façade. The station front spills onto a new urban square – a new meeting place for the city – that contains a water feature inspired by Ourense’s famous hot water springs. The proposed bus station – which is outside the remit of the Foster + Partners’ design scheme – will be relocated closer to the western edge of the train station, and there will be a new underground car park, and pedestrian walkway over the tracks to the east.

The internal lobby has been reconfigured to create a light-filled, triple-height space that provides a sense of calm within. The historic frescoes on the upper reaches of the walls have been retained and restored. Movement for passengers has been simplified to create an intuitive path through the station, with clear visual connections from the check-in stations to the trains. There is a direct internal connection to the bus station, providing easy links to the city centre and the surrounding areas.

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