By Cass Jacoby.
The upcoming Tulum Train Station in Mexico along the Riviera Maya has plans for the roof that are sure to dazzle. The 14,400 square-meter new structure will be made out of a steel gridshell cladded with Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GRC) panels on the top and laminated wood panels below.
Built by the London- and Mexico-based architecture firm Aidia Studio, led by Rolando Rodriguez-Leal and Natalia Wrzask, the building takes design cues from pre-Hispanic Mayan architecture, focusing on light, shadows, patterns, materials and vegetation.
The geometry of the roof is designed to be reminiscent of traditional Mayan patterns, creating complex designs on the walls and floors of the station from filtered sunlight. The geometry of the roof "intuitively navigates users towards the center of the station," the studio told World Architecture.
“As the project is to be built in a beautiful, natural location embedded within a dense jungle, the first and foremost emphasis of the design was sustainability," Natalia Wrzask, co-founder of Aidia Studio, told World Architecture. "The footprint of the building itself has been reduced greatly by moving a big portion of the program above the train tracks."
The building rather creates an “eye-shaped footprint,” as it is widest in the center and the structure only touches the ground at four corner points. The building utilizes a semi-open circulation space concept, self-shaded by the latticed roof and cooled by the sea breeze flowing through the structure from the coast. “This is key to create a comfortable atmosphere for users without the need of mechanical ventilation," the studio says.
Aidia Studio tells World Architecture that the design of the building represents a look to the future while reflecting on the heritage and spatial quality of Mayan architecture. Namely, geometrical alignment, monumentality, the use of limestone and symmetry.
Construction for the new Tulum Train Station is expected to begin between January 2022 - June 2023. You can read more about the project, as well as see more photos, including project diagrams and floor plans at World Architecture.
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Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is writing about movies for her master's degree and dancing with her plants.