This studio agenda works in conjunction with ongoing research afforded by the USDOT University Transportation Center and Center of Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2). You will design a 30,000 SF multi-modal transportation hub, an established building typology that is a ripe candidate for redefinition and reinvention, or “infrastructural imaginary”. To create a new design approach that maximizes human potential, the project will be thought through its inhabitation, including diverse populations and communities, the facilitation of public-private partnerships for freight mobility planning and operation efficiency, along with advanced thinking of the future of self-driving transportation networks. As Dan Doctoroff, Founder of Sidewalk Labs, suggests, “What would a transportation hub look like if you started from scratch in the internet era--if you built a city ‘from the internet up?
The Houston-to-North Texas High-Speed Railroad Corridor, a speculative project attracting interest from global providers, brings a new industry to Texas that offers a choice beyond traffic-clogged roads and the hassles of airline travel. The studio site will be located at the designated HSRC station in the urban context of downtown Dallas. The studio allows students to complete the conceptual development of a building with consideration of structural, mechanical, electrical, and site integration needs while simultaneously designing an exemplary work of architecture. This project is not only about refining and fulfilling programmatic requirements, but also enhancing the experience of the city through engaging the body in space, and expressing the relationship of site and building spatially, materially, and tectonically.
Lastly, in October 2018, Texas Central named global railway company Renfe as its high-speed train operating partner. Renfe is one of the world’s most significant railways operators, running 5,000 trains daily on 7,500 miles of track. The company is integral to the transport system in Spain, its home base, handling more than 487 million passengers and 19.6 million tons of freight moved in 2017. New York Policy Analyst, Benjamin Villanti, also reminds us that Madrid is a city that between 1995 and 2007 swiftly and cost-effectively upgraded its subway system, making it an example that other cities can learn from. For these reasons, the studio will travel and research the rail system in Spain, experiencing first-hand the Renfe HSR system from Madrid to Barcelona and back. This distance is comparable to the Houston-Dallas Corridor.