Kaohsiung— Taiwan’s second largest city, located near the southern tip of the island nation—is known as much for its skyscrapers as for its parks. It seems fitting, then, that architects would design a transit hub that’s covered in a landscaped canopy—which is precisely what Dutch firm Mecanoo has done. The newly unveiled plans reveal an innovative, sustainable structure that not only connects the city but offers ample public green space as well.
The new Kaohsiung station will unite the city’s trains, metros, and buses while also accommodating taxis and bicycles. Mecanoo noted the historical significance of both the canopy and the central location. “The most important events in Taiwanese villages took place on the central square in front of the temple, lit with traditional red lanterns,” creative director Francine Houben said in a statement. “The new central hub has been designed as a contemporary equivalent of this, creating a memorable experience for travelers. The sprawling green canopy protects the open public plaza underneath from Kaohsiung’s tropical climate like large trees used to do in the area.”
The interior of the station.
The canopy above the hub will connect a hotel, retail outlets, restaurants, and other facilities intended for locals and travelers alike. Completion of the Kaohsiung station is expected in 2024.