July 19, 2007

Strasbourg (France)

The end of our car lease brought us to Strasbourg, France. We made a stop at the Terminus Hornheim Nord Station by Zaha Hadid, a tram station and car park made of linear folded planes of concrete which were formed by a study of overlapping fields and trajectories of trams, buses, cars and pedestrians. Another engaging and dynamic sculptural work, the concrete planes emerged gracefully from the ground and provided a shelter with seemingly impossible projecting cantilevers. The linearity of the station was reinforced with flush rectangular slot lights and canted steel pipe supports. Between these supports were some graffiti tagged-up cantilevered concrete benches, a bicycle cage surrounded with fixed horizontal metal louvers and a run down water closet. Adjacent to the covered station was a 700-space car park, characterized by slightly radiating painted white lines on black asphalt and a field of inclined steel poles.

Downtown was a new high-speed TGV train station addition under construction (will provide a 2hr20min connection to Paris), marked by a worm-like tube made of reflective and transparent glass. Instead of moving the station to the periphery, it was decided to integrate it with the historic railway station in the heart of the city. The curved glass form stands in front of the existing station building, forming a glass atrium that will group public transport facilities. Architect unknown. (anyone?)

Being in France again afforded the opportunity of much-improved cuisine; we decided to try something new and went out for some escargot. Sauteed in garlic and butter, they were surprisingly delicious (though 3 each were plenty).

Returning the car the next morning was kind of a sad departure... the Peugeot 307 was a great little car... it brought us a lot of autonomy and the ability to cover great distances quickly. It will be trains, boats, bicycles, planes, buses and our own feet from here out.

1 comment:

  1. you drove up to the terminus? man, half the fun is riding the tram and noticing the white people all get off long before there, and then noticing that the synagogue is more heavily barricaded than the u.s. embassy in iraq...

    but it's still one of zaha's better projects.


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