Train, metro, and transportation infrastructure is being re-invented by architects after over a half century of decline. The latest generation of innovative designs for this building type responds to the comfort and efficiency of high-speed rail travel and explore the station and its surrounding development as an important part of the city’s urban fabric.
It is a critical moment for architectural infrastructure, especially in North America, and in this current issue of Architype Review the selected global projects explore unique and innovative approaches to design in and around rail networks. President Obama recently pointed out the importance of a new high-speed rail network in his 2011 State of the Union address, focusing on the importance of these developments for future growth and sustainability. Whether a large scaled intermodal station in China or a unique project adjacent to a commuter line in west Los Angeles, there is much to be learned from the design dialogue being explored side by side with the community and political establishments. The current investigations being explored with high-speed rail design look to a variety of scales – national, regional, local – but all speak to the power of this infrastructure to be a symbol for change and create engaging social spaces. Clearly, the rail station is quickly becoming the catalyst for new urban renewal and planet-friendly travel.
On another note, the editors and publishers at Architype Review are pleased to announce the creation of the Architype Review Travel Prize in Honor of Lawrence W. Speck. This annual travel prize in honor of Professor Speck, one Architype Review’s past Guest Editors and recent recipient of the 2011 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education will benefit a third or fourth year bachelor of architecture student at the University of Texas School of Architecture. We are proud to announce that the University of Texas has selected the 2011 prize winner for the inaugural scholarship….Agustin Cepeda for his project “What is in the architecture that encourages Berlinites to engage life so enthusiastically?” The editors would like to congratulate Agustin, and wish him a safe journey to Berlin.