West Kowloon Terminus
Located centrally within the city’s urban realm, the West Kowloon Terminus functions as an indicator of how relations have improved between Hong Kong and Mainland China.
The high-speed rail terminus station will connect Hong Kong to Beijing with the largest rail network in history.
The outside ground plane bends down to the hall and the roof structure above gestures toward the harbor. The result is a 45 meter high volume which focuses all attention to the south facade with views of the Hong Kong Central skyline, Victoria Peak and beyond.
As the “gateway” to Hong Kong, it was considered vital to connect the station with the surrounding urban context and make one aware of the city’s character whether arriving or departing. In order to do this, the design efficiently compacted all of the supporting space to allow for a large void down into the departure hall below, with added apertures going down to the track platforms.
The WKT will function more like an international airport than a rail station as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region maintains economic and political differences from P.R.C.
This means that the facility needs to have both custom and immigration controls for departing and arriving passengers. What is highly unusual in this facility is that the West Kowloon Terminus will have immigration domains for both Hong Kong and China in the same facility, as opposed to how immigration works in a typical international airport, which only serves the host country.