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In Hong Kong, High-Speed Rail Gets A New Look Worthy Of Blade Runner

Aedas designs a new rail station that will link Hong Kong and China.

While the US waits (and waits) for trains to gain steam as efficient, viable modes of transport, plans are in place for a massive new rail network connecting Beijing and Hong Kong, where the West Kowloon Terminus (WKT) will welcome travelers–or send them on their way–in light, bright, ultra-modern style. Amtrak it ain’t.

Aedas designed the 430,000-square-meter station, which looks far more like an intergalactic depot and shuttle hub than terrestrial travel headquarters. WKT will support both regional commuter transit as well as high-speed long-hauls, and in a unique shift, immigration and customs domains for both arrivals and departures will be situated on-site, stacked one floor above the other. Below, all of the converging 15 tracks will be subterranean, making WKT the largest below-ground station in the world when completed in 2015. After emerging from a journey, however, the expansive, largely glass-clad indoor spaces convey an immediate sense that you’ve reached a true destination: sweeping sky-high, 45-meter-tall ceilings are topped off with a green roof that frames an amphitheater-shaped pedestrian area and observation deck, along 400,000-square-feet of as-yet-to-be-sold commercial space. The only thing it needs now is a Sbarro, amirite?