Connecting people and places with effective transit hub design

From rail stations to airport terminals, marine ports to multimodal interchanges, Buro Happold’s transport consultants deliver world class transport hubs that bring people and places together

What does it take to realise a world class transport hub? The answer is simple – create a space that delivers an exceptional passenger experience.

transportation hubs airport design rail interchange stations transport

Arriving at this outcome, however, isn’t quite as straightforward. Designing a building that integrates landmark architecture, convenient user access, seamless operations and discrete yet effective security measures requires skill and ingenuity. And that’s where we come in.

No matter how big or small your project, our transport consultants bring imagination and creativity to every challenge we face. Our interdisciplinary team can tackle every aspect of your project, from the initial masterplanning, to supporting studies and assessments, to working with planning authorities, to delivering the integrated engineering required to realise the final development.

From high-flying airport developments to supporting infrastructure for major rail stations, here’s a round-up of our top 5 transport projects:

Manchester Airport, UK: efficient engineering for an ambitious airport expansion project

The £1 billion transformation of Manchester Airport will see Terminal 2 more than double in size. Our airport design engineers and planners are providing civil, structural and facade design across all elements of this project. We are currently developing concepts for prefabricated and preassembled structures to reduce build time and cost, as well as designing a terminal facade that can withstand a bomb blast. Due for staged completion from 2020-2023, this major  airport development will increase Manchester Airport’s capacity by 10 million passengers over the next decade, and double airport jobs to 40,000 within 30 years.

The award winning Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, USA: a LEED Platinum multimodal transport hub

rail interchange design

Rooted in the tradition of grand rail stations yet embodying Orange County’s vision for a more sustainable future, ARTIC provides more than 43 million people across 34 cities with an unrivalled passenger experience. Our engineers used BIM to coordinate complex infrastructure required to connect eight existing public and private transport systems with the future streetcar and high speed rail lines, within one highly energy efficient building. We crowned the complex with a lightweight ETFE enclosure, which was easy to construct yet delivered excellent performance, to realise an iconic, multi award-winning transport hub.

West Kowloon Station, Hong Kong: integrating architecture and infrastructure

footbridge design transit walkway

Our integrated team of structural, civil and facade engineers are helping realise both the unique architecture and landmark features of this impressive new terminus for Hong Kong’s national high speed rail network. Close collaboration with the architect ensured both the cost and constructability of the beautiful freeform roof were managed, while our bridge engineers designed the innovative flying walkways that deliver a visual accent while improving people flow. Comprising specialists from almost every office across our global practice, our transport consultants worked together to deliver this highly complex project under tight time constraints.

Libreville Airport, Gabon: watertight airport design in a rainforest climate

sustainable airport design

With over 85% of Gabon covered in lush tropical rainforest, it is little wonder that the country is set to become a top destination for ecotourism. To cope with the increase in visitor numbers, Libreville airport is relocating from its cramped city centre location to a new site on the outskirts of the city. One of the primary challenges posed by this location, however, came in preventing vast quantities of runoff water from the surrounding rainforest from flooding the runway. We responded by designing a large swale that will intercept the runoff, and channel it away from the two state of the art airport terminals that will provide an impressive gateway to Gabon.

Astana Rail Station, Kazakhstan: people focused design delivers socioeconomic benefits

rail station design

This major rail interchange is a central component in the wider infrastructure upgrade of Kazakhstan’s capital city. With the aim of delivering a transport hub with clear socioeconomic benefits, our transport consultants developed a bespoke sustainability framework that not only reduced the amount of raw materials used in construction, but also supported greater passenger mobility, biodiversity and ethical working conditions. We used the latest specialised tools to predict people flow through the station, which enabled us to improve operations and security, and ultimately deliver an exceptional passenger experience.

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