During the 1990s the City of Strasbourg, France created a new tram network to encourage people to leave their cars outside the city in specially designed car parks and complete their journey into the centre by public transport. Two tram lines were completed – Line A, running east to west and Line B running north to south.
Artists were invited to create specific installations at key points. Zaha Hadid Architects were invited to design the tram station terminus and a car park for 800 cars at the northern apex of Line B.
Our concept for terminus and car park was based on the notion of overlapping fields and lines, which knit together to form a constantly shifting whole – each field echoing the movement of cars, trams, bicycles and pedestrians through the structure, the car park and the surrounding landscape. In essence, the transitions – between car and tram, tram and tram, tram and bicycle and other permutations – were used to define the project’s material and spatial transitions.
The terminus comprises waiting spaces, bicycle storage, toilets and a shop, all marked by the play of lines – on the floor, on furniture, in strip lights on the ceiling – creating an energetic, welcoming space, with function and circulation clearly defined.
Design for the two section car park explores the notion of cars as ephemeral and constantly changing elements – using while markings on black tarmac and 800 lamp stands to delineate parking spaces and create a ‘magnetic field’ which rotates with site boundaries from its starting north-south alignment.
In both the terminus building and car park our broader intention was to blur the boundaries between natural and artificial elements by articulating the key transitions between open landscape and interior space. To offer an ‘artificial nature’ to all using the terminus.