The city of Vilnius in Lithuania has selected Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), as part of the international competitions, to redevelop the Vilnius railway station to create an integrated transportation hub for the 21st century, with new public space enveloped by Nature.
As part of the city's vision to integrate sustainable development that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists, ZHA's 'Green Connect' introduces a new public bridge over the railway tracks. The design aims to transform the railway station from a barrier in the city to one that connects the Naujininkai district to the south, with the city centre and Vilnius old town. The design is meant to serve as a local and national transportation hub; the design reuses and renovates the existing station and a new 9,500 square metres of concourse bridge.
Offering several Nature-based solutions, the new design is conceived as an inhabited landscape that connects the railway station to the upgraded Stoties Square Park and the ramps leading the visitors to the green roof on top of the structure. The landscape here mitigates and enhances the quality of life for the locals, creating an interconnected series of open and accessible natural spaces within the city. In addition, the water gardens act as natural collection, filtration, and purification of waters.
"It is an honour to be awarded the highest rank in this competition for such a strategically important site for Vilnius. 'Green Connect' will be a future-proof transportation hub, designed with the passenger experience in mind. Providing a wealth of new public space, our proposals transform the site into a destination, not only for those using the transportation hub but also for the city of Vilnius and the local community " said Gianluca Racana, Zaha Hadid Architect's Director.
The composition of the new 46 metres wide and 150 metres long bridge roof takes its clue from the local context, being inspired by the pitched roof of the existing neoclassical station. The elegant, pitched roof glides gently and transforms along its length into softer geometry and volumes that reduces in sale to land at Peloso's street in the Naujininkai district.
ZHA's design also incorporates a linear skylight along the length of the bridge, which helps fill the space below with natural light while also informing visitors about the passage of time. This design strategy also provides clear wayfinding to the visitors, giving the internal space a clear structure.
"Removing the temporary kiosks and offices installed over recent decades, the clarity of the existing 9,000 square metres station is restored and linked with a new public transport terminal for the city's bus networks," explains ZHA.
By relocating the existing car park on Stoties Square to an underground parking facility, the design creates a vibrant city square, planting 300 new trees and 4000 square metres of landscaping, with a new outdoor amphitheatre, all of which bring the city together.
The extensive landscaping acts dually; to help bring down the temperature inside the structure during the summer and provide insulation during winters. The design also aims to achieve energy production on-site by incorporating photovoltaic panels on the frame. This is achieved through annual solar radiation analysis, informing the creation of the facade to maximise sunlight within its interiors and reducing the glare during summer.
ZHA's design merges the old with the new. It pushes the Vilnius city to achieve its sustainability goals in signature ZHA design vocabulary, which we expect from the studio, offering all the bells and whistles. In addition, the landscape plays a vital role in the overall scheme to rejuvenate and establish a new connection with the city, incorporating Nature in our public infrastructure projects.
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Design: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Director: Gianluca Racana
ZHA Project Directors: Ludovico Lombardi Michele Salvi
ZHA Project Associate Davide del Giudice
ZHA Project Team: Alexandra Fisher, Jose Navarrete Deza, Maria Lagging, Richard Maekallas, May Harper
ZHA Sustainability Team: Carlos Bausa Martinez, Megan Smylie, Taras Kashko, Vera Kichanova
Local Executive Architect: CLOUD architektai
Engineers: Sweco Lietuva UAB
Landscape Architect: LAND srl