Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 62 (photostories)


New Trends in Station Design

This photostory introduces recent redevelopment projects integrating large stations into Japanese cities as well as the architecture of innovative stations making the most of local features.

It focuses mainly on winners of the annual ‘Association of Railway Architect Prizes’ (ARA prizes).

City-Integrated Stations (1)

This section gives examples of key rail termini in major cities developed to integrate stations with cities and nearby business facilities, becoming city landmarks in their own right.

1 Shibuya Station (Tokyu, Tokyo Metro and JR East)
Shibuya Station in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, is an important transport hub, with 8* railway lines operated by four companies, as well as a bus network serving nearby districts.
For Shibuya Station and adjacent areas, projects like the one to create a joint through line for Tokyo Metro’s Fukutoshin and Tokyu’s Toyoko lines have been a great opportunity for station renovation on a grand scale and city redevelopment integrated with the terminus. In other words, this redesign is making a massive impact on city planning.
*: Counting JR East as two lines

Photo: Tokyo Metro’s Fukutoshin Line and Tokyu’s Toyoko Line at Shibuya Station opened on 14 June 2008 (the Toyoko Line entered service on 16 March 2013). Architect Tadao Ando’s oval atrium rises three storeys, creating a sense of space. (Tokyu Corporation)
Photo:The space above the station and the surrounding sites will see a new town take shape centred around a 46-floor skyscraper. (JR East)
Photo: This district is being redeveloped. The above-ground Tokyu Toyoko Line station site (south area) is no longer needed because through services to and from Tokyo Metro have moved underground, freeing up the site for other use. (JR East)
Photo:A multi-level pedestrian network linked to the station will be established by extending the free passages feeding
the east.west station front plaza. (JR East)
Photo: Approach to Shibuya Hikarie from Tokyo Metro’s Fukutoshin and Tokyu’s Toyoko lines at Shibuya Station. Shibuya Hikarie (opened 16 April 2012) is a 34-floor building belonging to Tokyu Corporation with offices, multi-purpose hall, theatre and shops. Basement level 3 (B3) provides direct access to the station. (Tokyu Corporation)
Photo:Exterior view of Shibuya Hikarie
Shibuya Station and its surroundings are undergoing development that integrates the city and station through massive station renovation involving Tokyu, JR East and Tokyo Metro. The urban planning was approved on 17 June 2013. (Tokyu Corporation)
Stations with Special Design Features (1)

This section introduces some station buildings incorporating innovative designs making the most of local features.

2 Iwamizawa Station (JR Hokkaido)
The new Iwamizawa Station building design (architect Hiroshi Nishimura) was chosen by open competition. The station in Iwamizawa, Hokkaido, incorporates a city-run cultural exchange centre. It won the 2011 award in the rail station category of the Brunel Awards.

3 Asahikawa Station (JR Hokkaido)
Asahikawa Station in Hokkaido is elevated in conjunction with the surrounding development. The new station building designed by Hiroshi Naito opened on 23 November 2011.

Photo: Station southern facade opens onto city (JR Hokkaido)
Photo: The station’s use of red bricks and old rails in the exterior tells the story of a ‘railway town’. The bricks carry the names of donors supporting the station construction. (JR Hokkaido)
Photo:The station’s glass exterior gives panoramic views across the adjacent river. (JR Hokkaido)
Photo: Stairs to the platforms are clad in local Hokkaido timber, producing a warm friendly design. (JR Hokkaido)
Photo: The design elicits trees holding up the giant platform roof. (JR Hokkaido)
Stations with Special Design Features (2)

4 Hitachi Station (JR East)
Architect Kazuyo Sejima’s new design for Hitachi Station in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, incorporated a free passage when it opened on 7 April 2011.

5 Sawara Station (JR East)
The new station building opened on 19 February 2011 (with some services in operation while completion was due in March) at Sawara Station in Katori, Chiba Prefecture, typifies the traditional regional architecture of Sawara and is also home to the Tourism Information Centre.

6 Ryuo Station (JR East)
The new elevated Ryuo Station building and free passage by architect Tadao Ando opened on 24 March 2008 in Kai, Yamanashi Prefecture. The cutting-edge design integrates a new plaza in front of the station, creating the image of quartz crystals.

Photo: The building and free passage embrace the image of a ‘glass box floating above a hill overlooking the sea’. (JR East)
Photo: The station concourse and free passage offer splendid Pacific Ocean vistas. (JR East)
Photo: The station building features traditional Japanese architecture, such as a large tiled roof. (JR East)
Photo: Aerial view of Ryuo Station. The roofs of the station building, free passage and station-front plaza are combined in an integrated design.(Kai City)
City-Integrated Stations (2)

7 Osaka Station (JR West)
Osaka Station in the heart of Umeda, the biggest business and trading area in northern Osaka, is a strategic location for transport within the city and to elsewhere. As well as home to JR West, Osaka Station also serves the Hanshin and Hankyu railways, catering to local travel.
JR West redeveloped the station extensively, using the site of an old freight station to the north to extend and build new facilities at the north and south ends before the new ‘Osaka Station City’ opened on 4 May 2011.

8 Hakata Station (JR Kyushu)
Hakata Station in the Hakata district of Fukuoka is the largest rail terminus on Kyushu, playing a dual role by handling transport within the Fukuoka area and to intercity destinations.
In line with the full Kyushu Shinkansen opening, JR West set about making comprehensive improvements to Hakata Station, which was opened as JR Hakata City on 3 March 2011. It boasts multiple facilities, such as business offices, bars, restaurants, and culture spots.

Photo: Overview of so-called ‘Osaka Station City’ from south. The station building in the foreground was extended to increase department store space.(JR West)
Photo: The station buildings to the north and south have been integrated by a striking massive sloping arc roof, creating a symbolic station space.(JR West)
Photo: A new free passage links the north and south buildings of the elevated station.(JR West)
Photo: The station building has been expanded dramatically using space above and below the lines. The exterior provides Kyushu with a perfect new landmark. (JR Kyushu)
Photo: Tile art at new ticket gate on third floor (JR Kyushu)
Photo: Restaurants on ninth floor (JR Kyushu)
Photo: JR Kyushu Hall on ninth floor (JR Kyushu)