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sweeping gridshell roof encloses new tulum train station designed by aidia studio

aidia studio takes cues from mayan architecture to design a new train station for tulum, mexico. the public transportation hub pays tribute to the pre-hispanic history of the caribbean city by infusing contemporary interpretations of elements found in mayan architecture such as symmetry, monumentality, geometrical alignment, and the use of limestone. the rail station is articulated by an eye-shaped footprint and a sweeping lattice roof made from a steel gridshell. 

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

images courtesy of aidia studio

 

 

the new tulum train station forms part of the tren maya project, a 1,525-kilometer intercity railway across mexico’s yucatan peninsula. in its design of the station, aidia studio sought to push the sustainability agenda to the foreground by integrating passive cooling strategies and minimizing the footprint of the building. to achieve this, the public program is stacked above the platforms to create a building that is compact and contained within the eye-shaped footprint. escalators and elevators connect the various levels in a grand hall that’s flooded with light and natural ventilation.

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

drone view

 

 

aidia studio also prioritizes user experience, ease of mobility, orientation and the presence of natural light. the linear configuration of the station and the symmetry naturally help, assisted by the roof geometry that intuitively navigates users towards the center of the station.

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

approach from the train tracks

 

 

in laying out the commercial component, the architects aimed to design spaces that constantly celebrate the experience of rail transportation. this is achieved by framing views of inbound and outbound trains, and by laying out these retail spaces on a direct visual connection with the platforms.

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

arrival and platforms

 

 

to deal with the tropical climate, the design team envisages a large open lattice roof, glazed in strategic locations, enabling public semi-open spaces that function without mechanical ventilation. sunlight piercing through the roof projects complex geometric patterns on the walls and floors of the station, a play of light and shadow travel throughout the space and evoke different sensations on the users.

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

view from the platform

 

 

the openings on the gridshell respond to the radiation exposure throughout the day; smaller openings on the zenith reduce heat gains at the hottest hours and larger openings on the sides let air and light in when the temperature descends. this passive strategy negotiates the amount of radiation exposure and the amount of natural light let into the station. the aerodynamic geometry of the roof promotes the suctioning of the ocean breeze and funnels it through the station. this is key to create a comfortable atmosphere for users without the need for mechanical ventilation.

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

ascent to the main vestibule

 

 

the steel gridshell roof structure is clad with glass fiber reinforced concrete (GRC) panels on the top and laminated wood panels below. the resulting motives on both outer and inner sides echo traditional geometric patterns found in mayan architecture, but in a new, contemporary way. 

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

interior view of the gridshell roof from the main vestibule

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

bird’s eye view of the main vestibule distributing the passenger flow

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

ascent to the elevated vestibule from the pedestrian connection

 

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

cross section through the station

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

axonometric diagram

aidia studio designs new tulum train station with sweeping gridshell roof designboom

roof buildup assembly, top view

 

 

project info:

 

name: tulum train station

location: tulum, mexico

client: FONATUR tren maya

architect: aidia studio

lead architects: rolando rodriguez-leal & natalia wrzask

project team: mariano gonzález silva, emilio vásquez hoppenstedt, rodrigo wulf sánchez

structural engineering: project & calc

area: 14,400 sqm (155,000 sqft)

construction: january 2022 – june 2023

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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