Intermodal Theater of Movement : A High Speed Rail Hub for Seattle
Uomoto, Titus Shepard
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The freedom to move from place to place has become an essential part of modern life. Demand for public transportation will increase as costs associated with driving rise, traffic becomes congested, and people become inconvenienced. In order to encourage the use of public transportation there needs to be many different options and the provision of convenience, ease of use, and safety. A clear connection between different modes of transportation, and between interstate and local networks will also encourage public transportation. Advances in high-speed rail have allowed trains to compete with airplanes and automobiles for long distance travel. High-speed rail is an initiative of the current federal administration and is currently being planned for California, with an initial line breaking ground next year. This Thesis assumes that the next logical step is to link the whole West Coast from San Diego to Vancouver allowing for the opportunity to move millions of people and goods each year at a fraction of the carbon cost of airplanes and automobiles. This infrastructure has a higher up front cost but lower maintenance costs, and in the long run is cheaper than the existing travel options. High speed rail is the transport infrastructure of the 21st century that will reestablish rail as a convenient, reliable, and cost effective means of travel. The stations that link cities together will be the gateways for visitors while also being economic hubs for their respective cities. This thesis is for the design of a high-speed rail station and transit hub on a site adjacent to the King Street Station and Union Station in downtown Seattle. The site is perfectly situated at the South end of Seattle's central business district. The existing stations have other means of public transportation, such as Amtrak, Sounder, Link light rail, and Metro buses. The station is next to the football/soccer and baseball stadiums that draw in millions of people each year. Located between two prominent neighborhoods this station will also connect Pioneer Square and the International District by bridging the railroad tracks and 4th Ave, which currently discourage movement. When built the King Street Station and Union Station epitomized the values and ideas of travel. The new station would juxtapose itself to the adjacent 100-year-old stations by speaking to the current cultural values, environmental concerns, and technologies of travel. This station will be a commercially and culturally oriented development that brings together traditional uses related to transport hubs with different aspects of the arts, dance and theater. The passengers become the performers and as they move through the space they are the ones to watch and be watched. Having a theater and gallery the station becomes a place to arrive at and enjoy and not just a portal to rush through to your next destination. This station will be a microcosm of the city that will provide shopping, food, cafes, and entertainment. This station will become an icon for the city and transportation much like how Union Station and King Street Station have been over the last 100 years.
- Architecture