Human scale railway stations

Others have argued that stations for high speed rail needs to be big and modern (a church to the train gods?). I think this is misguided, as people are small and what works has been understood for a century. This is the building equivalent of building wide roads in the hope that people will want to go there.

"In the time it has taken to build one of those cathedral-like stations for metro and high-speed lines, Madrid Metro has built more than 70 new metro stations with a beautiful, functional, low-cost design created by the infrastructure architect, Mr Juan Alonso."

The residential equivalent is the stupid idea, especially prevalent in the US, that we should separate not only residential areas from retail, from industrial, from office; but even segregate on income/socioeconomic status. The result is the depressingly monotonous and mostly unlivable US sprawl. Instead, human scale residential mixes with retail, offices and even light industry (heavy industry could be incorporated given sufficient pollution control).

One only has to compare the cozy magic of Philadelphia station with the grand boredom of Singapore airport to understand this principle. This doesn't mean claustrophobic like Heathrow, or match the decay of many existing old stations, merely that their scale and complex usage is more valuable than vast spires of glass. It does mean that form follows function.




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