Florence’s new iconic train station will become the heart of the country’s high-speed rail network, providing a mass transit connecting point for the new train lines and embedding different mass transit systems firmly within the fabric of the city.
Set in one of the city’s best-known historical quarters, the distinctive arching glazed roof of the new train station will pay homage to Florence’s rich architectural heritage, optimising passenger flow while better integrating rail with the city’s public transport systems.
The Transit Oriented Development (TOD), designed by Foster + Partners and engineered by Arup, will provide a crucial mass transit interchange node for Italy’s new high speed rail network, and become a vital new hub for Florence, connected with the existing station at Santa Maria Novella.
The south entrance will face a public square leading to the Belfiore area, featuring a large urban park, office buildings, and underground bus station and car parking facilities. The eye-catching high-speed rail station design has won accolades for its iconic value: the energy-efficient, durable design of the station will include a vibrant public space in the concourse, together with a shopping arcade under the overarching steel and glass roof.
The Florencehigh speed train station will be Arup’s largest and most complex transport building project in Italy, and its first deep structure. Arup was appointed to develop the structural and building services design and provided comprehensive, specialist engineering services including geotechnics, fire, seismic design, transportation, security and risk consulting, façade engineering, access and maintenance, acoustic consulting, construction planning and programme and project management.
25m deep platforms
450mlong steel roof capping station
Florence Station: engineering an iconic, complex shape
The station is part of Italy’s new high speed rail network running from Milan to Naples and from Turin to Venice. The system includes over 1000km of railway line and four new stations in Rome, Turin, Naples and Florence.
The rail level, 25m below ground, will be contained within a concrete box 454 m long and 52 m wide, intersected by train tunnels at the north and south ends; and connected to the ticketing zone at mezzanine level, and to the ground floor concourse by a system of escalators, travelators and lifts.
A 450 m long steel structure will crown the station, defined by a cylindrical surface formed by a steel diagrid structure. The complex shape of the structures along with the quality of the exposed concrete will be crucial to the architectural appearance of this part of the project.
Beyond the aesthetic relevant, energy optimisation was another key driver of the design. The structural scheme shapes a wide open spaces with large voids in plan that allow natural daylight penetration to platform level, and ensure a more energy-efficient approach to temperature control.