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Train Station – ‘Building Becoming Topography’

Part 1 Project 2014
Miriam-Rose McLaughlin
Queen's University Belfast Belfast UK
Train Station – Derry/Londonderry

On the meandering journey through the rumbling hills and rich farm land of mid Ulster one will encounter truly majestic scenes and enduring sites. Starting in Belfast the train passes over the Lagan, skirting the city and through lush county side. The train journey is hailed as one of the most scenic of outstanding beauty in Europe. The ceremonious journey however comes to an abrupt end, entering Derry/Londonderry into a dreary, drab 1970’s terminus station. Having arrived and disembarked, you cannot walk into the city centre; instead you must travel by bus, despite its close proximity.

The proposal of a new Train Station sees the terminal relocated to a site beside the new pedestrian ‘Peace Bridge’, connecting the two sides of the city of Derry/Londonderry.

The design concept is driven by the ‘movement of circulation’, in keeping with the typography of the site. Creating a form, as part of the landscape, but acting as a vehicle of movement between levels. The terminal arrival is something opposite to the journey itself; coming into the building, creates an architectural end experience, and maintains a visual connection to the bridge and city through the glazed walls. The user is then brought again into an open experience, as they journey across the Peace Bridge.
The building’s language is to be read, ‘as a shed to house the arrival’, with shifting plates pushed out from the land, connecting to the context and driving the movement between people and transport.
The importance of the project was not only to design a train station, but create a public enhancement to the city, driven by the connection to Ebrintion Barracks, the Peace Bridge, the terminal roof as a public platform and first floor, allowing a straight connection visually into the walled city. The building as a whole is to become part of the life of the city, not just for daily commuters, with shops, restaurant, café and tourist info.

The presentation aimed to illustrate a building merged with landscape and context; the grey canvas blurs the lines between outside and inside.

Miriam-Rose McLaughlin


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