TRANSIT HUB_ charleston, sc_ competition entry

Architecture for Humanity: Charleston developed a competition to design a new transit hub for the downtown area. Our proposal allows this transit hub to function as a trailhead for the Museum Mile, emphasizing connectivity, achieved through sustainability, and embracing community. As a trailhead, this hub gathers visitors from all forms of transportation, winds them up and through the building’s mixed uses, to a view of their destination, Museum Mile. This parti took form by responding to the surrounding site and environment.

The section is informed by the old rail road warehouses, but wraps around the site, protecting the urban edge and allowing a void in the center. The open ground floor maintains important connections through the site. The structure is an exoskeleton, with flexible boxes of conditioned space within. These boxes are clad in materials that borrow from surrounding buildings to knit to hub into the neighborhood.

Sustainable features include photovoltaic panels, narrow floor plates to maximize daylighting and cross ventilation, outdoor atrium to allow stack ventilation, rain water collection for a greywater recycling system, and a usable green roof garden.

The community aspect of the transit hub is accomplished through the many opportunities for gathering. In addition to the programmed meeting space, the green roof garden allows for outdoor gatherings on an intimate scale, and the amphitheater scramp is an urban generator allowing gatherings on a larger scale or a perfect seat to just watch the activity. The entire complex was designed for accessibility, openness, and opportunities to gather and encourage community.

the NODE:

The competition also called for designers to create prototype node stations that could be placed throughout the transit system. Each node reflects the main hub by utilizing the same structural system, open floor plan, and large shading roof with conditioned boxes within.

However, each node adapts to its individual surroundings through form and materials. The form of the roof is altered to harvest maximum solar gain for the photovoltaics and provide ample shaded waiting area with good cross ventilation, while the materials of the conditioned boxes stem from its immediate surroundings. This provides a recognizable image for the light rail system, yet allows each node to fit into its particular location.

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