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Farrells' Olympic legacy - Beijing South is people's favourite

Beijing South Station – designed by international architecture practice Farrells – has topped the poll in a survey of the general public in Beijing, attracting almost 3.5 million votes.

The Beijing Olympics attracted architects from around the world who designed some of the most remarkable buildings of the century so far. Beijing South Station beat off stiff competition from other landmark projects including the iconic “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium by Herzog and de Meuron and the new Beijing International Airport terminal by Foster and Partners.

This public accolade is the latest in a series of awards for the station, which recently won the prestigious 2009 RIBA International Award and is shortlisted for a World Architecture Award.

Lord Adonis, Secretary of State for Transport, recently visited Beijing South Station to see what lessons can be learned in the UK as plans develop for new investment in high speed rail (announced by the Secretary of State yesterday). He met the design team from Farrells’ Hong Kong office and, as well as visiting the station, he also used one of the new high-speed trains from Beijing to see how UK-led architectural talent is delivering world-class rail infrastructure in China.

Beijing South opened on 1 August 2008. The station is a vast project built to accommodate the enormous number of people that use China’s rail system every day. Its spectacular sweeping roof, covering an area the size of 20 football pitches, floods the wide spaces beneath with natural light and lends the station an airport-like environment. With a 300 metre-long concourse, the station has been designed for an annual passenger turnover of 105 million by the year 2030, with a peak-hour flow of over 30,000 passengers. Outside, the station makes a generous contribution to the public realm and significantly enhances the neighbourhood character of the surrounding area. Its unique, contemporary form has given the city a dynamic new landmark as well as a vital improvement to China’s infrastructure.

Beijing South Station is one of two landmark stations at either end of the new high-speed rail link from Beijing to Guangzhou. In a coup for UK-led architecture, Farrells are also the designers of the new Guangzhou station, which opens later this year in time for the 2009 Asian Games. Together, these stations will be largest railway stations in Asia and bring rail travel in China into the 21st century.

Sir Terry Farrell said:

“I am delighted that Beijing South has won such support from ordinary members of the public in Beijing. I’m particularly proud that the project has been voted favourite among a remarkable field of projects by some of the world’s greatest architects. As a practice, we are establishing a great portfolio of major infrastructure projects. I hope they will all prove to be as successful as Beijing South.

“The UK may be about to embark on much needed high-speed rail infrastructure investment. China has show what can be possible, and I hope the UK will similarly look to invest in good design.”

Email: info@goodfellowcommunications.com


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