Chicago Terminus



165 North Canal Street, Chicago, IL


High Speed Rail Station + Intermodal Transit 


2012  [Graduate 1]


 In anticipation of the proposed Midwest High Speed Rail network, this project seeks to provide the city of Chicago with a new rail terminal. However, the project offers much more than a simple transportation hub- it serves as a new arena for social and cultural interaction, offers new opportunities for business and economic growth, and becomes a landmark and gateway that is representative of Chicago for thousands of people each day. 

The concept for the entire complex is based upon the speed and efficiency afforded by high speed rail. This is immediately evident in the structure of the building, based on straightforward and efficient, yet simultaneously distinctive elements. The outer concourse and related functions are housed under a monumental cable-supported roof system that is suspended from monumental column forms. This maximizes spans, reduces structural interruptions within spaces, and can also be used as a wayfinding device.  Derivations of this support system carry throughout the building, with adaptations based on the needs of distinctive program elements.

Program organization and circulation are also implemented with a high degree of efficiency, seeking to provide a straightforward, fast, and enjoyable experience for travelers and users of the High Speed Rail Station.  Public, unpaid program elements are situated in a sunken plaza layout in the main building. This stratifies retail, food court, and commercial elements on the upper level, ticketing, waiting, and rail services below them for optimal circulation. Inner concourse areas for paid customers also provide efficient and enjoyable waiting rooms as well as dedicated arrival and departure routes for passengers that minimize any interruptions to passenger flow.

Overall, the Chicago Terminus provides Chicago with a highly innovative, functional, efficient, and enjoyable rail station that represents a new era of high speed rail transportation in the Midwest. 

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