Zaha Hadid Architects ranks first in the design competition to renovate Vilnius railway station, creating an integrated transportation hub for the 21st century with new civic spaces enveloped by nature.
Meeting the city’s ongoing sustainability agenda that prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists, the proposal incorporates a new public bridge over the railway tracks that connects the Naujininkai district to the south with the city centre and Vilnius old town; uniting the city and creating a transport hub for national and local rail services in addition to the new Rail Baltic line that links with Europe’s high-speed network.
The renovation and reuse of the original station defines a new concourse bridge that is a contemporary reinterpretation of the existing heritage building; gradually transforming along its length from the pitched roof of the old station’s triangular pediment into softer geometries and volumes that reduce in scale to land at Pelosos Street in the Naujininkai district.
Removing the temporary kiosks and offices installed over recent decades, the clarity of the old station is restored and linked with a new public transport terminal for the city’s bus networks. Designed as an inhabited landscape within the upgraded Stoties Square park in front of the station, the terminal’s outdoor amphitheatre and ramp lead to a public terrace on its roof.
Relocating existing car parking in Stoties Square to a new underground facility, the square and its adjacent park will become a vibrant civic space for the city with over 300 new trees, the creation of tree-lined avenues along its main axes and water gardens for the natural collection, filtration and purification of rainwater.
Spanning 150 m across the railway platforms, the bridge’s roof structure and the terraced landscape of the bus terminal are constructed in locally-sourced laminated timber.
Nature-based solutions are integral to the design that includes green roofs, landscaping and planting to lower temperatures in summer and provide heat insulation in the winter, as well as energy production technologies and depolluting strategies to improve air quality within adjacent neighbourhoods.