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Tulum Train Station: An Aerodynamic Grid Shell Imagined by AIDIA Studio

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Tulum Train Station

What an exciting way to board a train from a station that welcomes and evokes you with a sensorial experience. Tulum Train Station visualized by AIDIA studio unveils a dynamic latticed structure sitting in the beach resort of Tulum, in the Mexican Caribbean, along the Riviera Maya. The design presented to travel beyond boundaries, being sustainable, optimizing and performing a narrative of the pre-Hispanic Mayan architecture spectated by the use of light, shadows, patterns, materials and vegetation.

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Tulum Train Station

As you enter, the crisscrossing frames bash a sense of awe and make your heads turn. One of the key design factors intervened to unravel a minimal footprint for the station. The team explored different spatial configurations and eventually contrived an eye-shaped form, widening at the centre and tapering at the ends. The primary functions converge in the central arena, incorporating the most space usage efficiency. In addition, enhanced by stacking the public programmes above the platforms lashing a more compact scheme, allied across levels with vertical circulation and featuring a grand hall flooded with light and natural ventilation.

Tulum Train Station

The designers keenly explored the manner of user experience, ease of mobility, orientation, and sweep of natural light. The linear configuration of the station and the symmetry that stretches centrifugally from the roof geometry intuitively navigates users towards the centre of the station. In laying out the commercial component, the designers aimed to celebrate the experience of rail transportation by framing views of inbound and outbound trains, and by laying out the retail spaces on a direct visual connection with the platforms.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

With the tropical climate in the Yucatan peninsula receiving rain and high humidity in the summer, the team envisaged a large open lattice roof, glazed in strategic locations, to deal with the extreme weather. Also, the manner of public semi-open spaces functions without mechanical ventilation. The sunlight piercing through the roofs intriguing complex geometric that seeps onto the walls and floors of the station, fashioning a play of lights and shadows dancing throughout the space and evoking distinct sensations on the travellers.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

Tulum Train Station

The grid shell openings of the Tulum Train Station respond to the radiation exposure throughout the day, while smaller openings on the zenith reduce the heat gain. Larger openings on the flanks verge and edges channel air and light when the temperature descends. This passive strategy negotiates the radiation exposure and brings a controlled amount of natural light to wash into the station.

Tulum Train Station

The aerodynamic geometry of the roof promotes the suctioning of the ocean breeze and funnels it through the station. This weaves a comfortable atmosphere for its users with no mechanical ventilation. The designers’ vision wraps the steel grid shell roof with Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GRC) panels on the top and laminated wood panels assembling below. The resulting motives on both outer and inner sides are reminiscent of Mayan traditional geometrical patterns.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

Throughout the design journey of the Tulum Train Station, the known features of Mayan Architecture embellish in numerous characteristics; symmetry, monumentality, geometrical alignment, and the use of limestone attributing the Mayan architecture. They have attempted to honour this heritage by rescuing that same spatial quality just reinterpreted in a more fashionable elucidation.

Tulum Train Station
Tulum Train Station

Project Details:
Project Name: Tulum Train Station
City: Mexico
Architecture Firm: AIDIA STUDIO
Office Website: www.aidia-studio.com
Project Location: Tulum, Mexico
Built / Unbuilt: Unbuilt
Lead Architects: Rolando Rodriguez-Leal & Natalia Wrzask
Project Team: Mariano González Silva, Emilio Vásquez Hoppenstedt, Rodrigo Wulf Sánchez
Structural Engineering: Project & Calc
Client: FONATUR Tren Maya
Area: 14,400 sqm
Construction: January 2022 – June 2023

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