Tabriz Urban Railway Organization is holding an open international competition for the interior and entrances of its new Sa’at Square station (Deadline: 14 October)
The contest, open to architects and designers as individuals or in teams, seeks conceptual proposals for public areas within the station (pictured) which is part of the Iranian city’s ambitious new Metro Line 1 project.
Dubbed ‘Station 11’, the new facility overlooking Sa’at Square, will feature four new entrances alongside a 2,000m² subterranean level featuring a range of cultural and commercial spaces.
According to the brief: ‘The Sa’at Square Station is one of the major stations of Tabriz Urban Railway and it is evident it will be one of the most crowded. This station is situated in a historical zone of the city, which includes several valuable and historical buildings and sites.
‘Fulfilment of the urban, public, social and human functions of the station will require special structural and spatial features that form the station character, resulting in establishment of a sense of place and its improved quality.’
Situated in north-western Iran, Tabriz has a population of 1.5 million and is the capital of the East Azerbaijan Province which borders the Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhchivan.
The new station is immediately opposite Tabriz city hall, constructed by German engineers in 1937 and featuring the four-faced Sa’at clock tower. The building was briefly the seat of the Azerbaijan Peoples’ Government in 1947.
Other important landmarks close to the city- centre site include the 15th century Blue Mosque, Tabriz Islamic Art University and the monumental Arg Citadel of Tabriz.
Sa’at station is part of the city’s Metro Line 1 project, which will connect El Göli terminal in the south-east to Laleh terminal in the south-west and feature 18 stations.
The route’s 7km first phase opened last year while the 10km second phase, covering the city centre, is nearing completion.
Eight of the new second phase stations – including Sa’at Square – will feature underground platforms situated on an 8.5km stretch of double-bore tunnels with cross-sections of 6m each.
A second metro line is also under construction, and a planned third line is also intended to further reduce road traffic and boost mobility for local residents.
Proposals for Sa’at Square station must cover the four entrances, subterranean cultural space, ticket hall and platforms. Each entrance should offer a unique approach to the station either through the square or through the underground gallery spaces.
Entries must include four A4 pages with 500 words each explaining the project, and six A1 boards displaying the design concept with plan and perspective drawings to scale.
The competition is organised by Emarat-e-Khorshid Consultant Engineers Company and will be chaired by architect Kamran Dehghan. Jury members include the architects Homa Farjadi, Shahab Katouzian, Akbar Taghizadeh Asl, AmirHossein Taheri and Cino Zucchi.
The winning team – set to be announced 5 November – will receive around 300 million IRR while a second place prize of 200 million IRR and third place prize of 100 million IRR will also be awarded.
How to apply
The deadline for submissions is 14 October
Tabriz Urban Railway Organization
29 Bahman Blvd.
Tel: (+98-41) 33337453
Visit the competition website for more information
Stratford station case study: Q&A with Harbinder Birdi
The partner at Hawkins\Brown discusses lessons learned delivering a new extension to Stratford station in east London
How did your new entrance for Stratford station improve functionality and enhance the area’s civic appeal?
The main drivers for Stratford station were to accommodate the increase in passenger numbers as a key entry point to the 2012 Games and to re-orientate the station towards the Olympic Park by the creation of new public realm, station entrance and gate line. While the station remained fully operational, 14 new lifts were installed to allow step-free access throughout the station and a disused subway was extended to better integrate rail, tube and other rail services. These works, along with a new way finding and signage system, super graphics and lighting scheme greatly improved the passenger experience.
What considerations are important when designing station facilities which reflect social, human and technical requirements?
All stations should be designed to serve their local communities and in turn the city whilst ensuring that the station has a unique identity as well as creating a familiar land mark. The integration of high quality amenities that respond to the needs of the community are key, which however should not impact on the operational requirements of the station. The design of high quality public realm in creating secure places to meet and dwell is important in ensuring the station genuinely feels an extension of the city, creating a social spaces with character in which the community is able to engage with its fellow travellers.
How would you set about designing the entrance for Saat Square metro station in Tabriz?
Tabriz has a rich heritage of Moghul architecture, expressed by the use of large vaulted masonry structures and lined with beautiful delicate ornamental artwork. We believe that the new entrance should be a modern interpretation of the city’s historic architecture, while utilising modern methods of construction which enable ambitious new structural forms to be both designed and assembled. We believe that art has an important part to play in adding both intrigue and character to the station, as well as communicating to the passengers a narrative on the part of the city that it serves.