Traditionally, trains were an important and highly used form of transport.
Train stations were, and can still be found as landmark architecture throughout Europe. The activity, the people, the arrival of creates a lively and welcoming atmosphere. The train station is a place where one experiences their first glance of a new location. Whether this is the views, the culture or the function itself – It is a place that should create a positive lasting impression.
Can we say that this is the case in Wismar?
When one arrives, what are ones first impressions? What is seen? Wismar train station has dilapidated over the years, it has numerous abandoned buildings, unused trains and it is extremely dirty. There is limited seating, limited parking and the café is barely inviting.
Personally, I was nervous when I arrived in Wismar. It appeared that my new home was somewhere north, somewhere small and rundown. Where were the people? Why was it so quiet? Surely this was not the centre, if not then where was it? Where am I??
This was a shame, as I later discovered the quaint beauty of the Altstadt and the Hafen. Why is there no connection?
After all it is here that you will make your first and last impressions.
The following research and design proposal looks firstly at the urban outlook between the Wismar train station and the Harbour. From here, experiments were undertaken to develop ways in which a clear visual and physical connection could be made. My aims were to ensure that for all residents, students and visitors, the train station provided a sense of significance, a reason for people to stop, relax, and wait for their train or their loved ones. This was in essence, the ability to enjoy the space.
Conceptually, the idea of framing views and important sites were expressed and accentuated through the structural design framework.
Finally, Wismar sees a new train station extension which stands elegantly between structures that date in history. This design pushes the boundaries of heritage and modern infrastructures, evidently creating contrasting, and intriguing new impressions.