Software enabled: Foster + Partners unveils masterplan for Shenzhen transport hub

Foster + Partners has won an international competition to design and masterplan a transport hub on the high-speed rail link between Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.

The proposal will create an interchange between the rail link and three new metro lines as the focus of a new urban area on the outskirts of Shenzhen. The masterplan was produced with the help of software developed by the UK firm to devise the ideal arrangement of urban components.

One result of this was a network of slow-moving autonomous vehicles with skybridges and shared surfaces for cyclists and pedestrians.

Young Wei-Yang Chiu, Partner, Foster + Partners, commented: "The central idea is to capitalise on the natural beauty of the site, utilising the lush landscape to create a lively experience for visitors and locals. It will be a forest gateway into Shenzhen.

"Our proposals link the site with a slow-moving traffic network that provides efficient and easy connection to the hub. These shared surfaces ensure better accessibility throughout the whole masterplan area and create a platform ready for innovative transportation solutions for the future."

The hub will be topped by a series of towers (Foster + Partners)

The hub will have a large retail podium over the underground interchange, with stepped green terraces that create a link with the surrounding forest.

There will also be office towers, situated at cardinal points across the site to act as "gateways" to the hub. A transport museum will be built on a bridge over the high-speed rail station. The plan is that this will entertain visitors with latest virtual and augmented reality tech, and projection mapping technologies that will overlay future plans over a real-world panorama.

Grant Brooker, head of studio at Foster + Partners, said: "The Guangming Hub is a fantastic opportunity to develop a contemporary urban centre with an integrated and sustainable transport hub at its heart.

"The generously landscaped, walkable town centre will seamlessly connect to a smart autonomous transportation system, combining both well-being and convenience and creating a vibrant urban focus for the surrounding neighbourhoods."

Image: The hub will be located on the Hong Kong-to-Guangzhou high-speed line (Foster + Partners)

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