In Tulum, Mexico, a very different train station is in the works. This train station’s open design, inspired by the ancient Mayan culture, is a far cry from the urban underground.
Shaped like an arched dome, Tulum’s station will be decorated with mesmerizing patterns of geometry, light, and shadow. The architecture is not only designed to be sustainable but also weather heatwaves and storms.
Designed for Extreme Weather
Tulum is located on the Yucatán peninsula which has seen an increase in tropical storms and hurricanes. Besides putting the population at risk, these weather events have proven highly disruptive, destroying buildings and interrupting transportation systems.
Tulum’s station will be renovated with the environment in mind. With an open lattice roof, the station is designed to be cool and airy. A steel frame and fiberglass-reinforced concrete panels will not only let in natural light but also make the station resistant to harsh weather conditions.
An arched dome structure also makes the station aerodynamic. Besides minimizing potential damage during a storm or hurricane, the station’s shape allows for natural air ventilation. This eliminates the need for air conditioning and reduces the station’s carbon emissions.
The station is meant to coexist with the surrounding environment. Around the station, flora and fauna are abundant. Because of this, the station will be kept as small as possible, with a length of 200m, as to not encroach on its natural surroundings.
Inspiration from Indigenous Designs
Besides being resilient to the weather, the station’s design reflects indigenous art and ancient Mexican culture in an extraordinary way.
With the use of geometry, symmetrical shapes, and angles, the train station imitates the carvings and sculptures of the Mayan civilization. The Mayas are known for their use of shadows and light in their art. At the ruins of Chichen Itza, a serpent’s shadow appears on the Pyramid of Kukulcan during the spring equinox!
One of the building materials that will be used will be limestone, a building material traditionally used in pre-Hispanic cities. The limestone will be mixed with other substances in order to be firm and waterproof.
The construction of the station will begin in January 2022 and will likely finish by the end of 2023. Many look forward to the completed station, and its unique, environmental-friendly design will likely inspire future projects.