A state-of-the-art station and hub of civic activity

Project: Re-development of Nagpur Railway Station and Land Parcels

Architects: Creative Group

Railway stations of today are no more just chaotic transport hubs for people to catch their trains. They have transformed into socio-economic and commercially-viable centres of the city, and are crucial links between commercial, retail, residential and recreational spaces. Nagpur Railway Station is one of the oldest and busiest stations in Maharashtra. A prime junction built
in 1867, it is bisected by the Asian Highway 46 running from east to west, and the railway line running from north to south, thus, dividing the entire site into six sectors. Ajni is a satellite station for Nagpur that is used by the residents of the southern suburbs and short distance daily commuters. The city of Nagpur is slated to be developed as a Smart City, concentrating on high impact infrastructure development. Nagpur Railway Station is therefore, being redeveloped in a bid to ease congestion and to meet the needs of the city that is growing fast as an important IT, educational and health hub.

We believe in generating design schemes that add value and are commercially viable. Through the design of the Nagpur Railway Station and its precinct, the aim is to restructure the station with better amenities, create connections within the city, connect the main concourse with the main flow, and boost influential growth in the precinct by insertion of plug-ins in tandem with the existing urban fabric.

A comprehensive approach to developing, enhancing and managing public spaces has been adopted for this project. Taking cues from the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur, we believe that the creation of an inter-modal hub at Nagpur Junction can contribute positively to the construction of a Central Business District (CBD) at the station, which can then coexist as one of two major hubs of the city. With the AH46 running midway through the site, there is a loss of major connectors of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. By provisions of Free On Boards (FOBs), slip roads and public piazzas, we have connected the city within and increased walkability to and from the site. Moreover, with integration of different modes of transport and creation of an inter-modal hub, the design is expected to boost the economy of the region.

Our approach towards redevelopment of the station is a renewed focus on design that promotes the growth of retail and revenue opportunities. Taking lead from global technological advancements, an elevated city above the railway tracks at the flyover level, with a drop-off curb for the station, has been visualised. It has been conceptualised with dynamic and vibrant spaces within and outside, providing ease of access and movement of passengers to and from the terminal. Catering to the possibility of increase in the passenger flow, primary and secondary entries have been linked together. Also, the link connecting the two creates another tertiary entry into the main concourse.

The station is designed considering ergonomic factors effecting people and their needs, making it inclusive and functional. The proposal is sustainable—buildings have been oriented north to south for maximum glare-free light, with large overhangs, mutually-shaded and ventilated courtyards and green roofs for thermal insulation, and skylights for inducing sunlight. The form of the station is innovative in its design—a light-weight steel structure with Kalzip and fabric roofing adds to the design of the state-of-the-art station. Besides this, there is modularity in the design of the station concourse and podium construction. Three different designs have been employed: The first is modular in nature, the second with historic intent engaging the local flavour of Nagpur, and the third is a light-weight futuristic structure. The precinct has been designed to maximise functionality of urban spaces on a daily basis, by provision of office lots (45 per cent), retail (30 per cent), hotels (10 per cent) and residential lots (10 per cent). The sustainable and energy efficient buildings form a part of the design that promotes active public life at the precinct.

Additionally, the station building has been revitalised though strong place-
making, contributing to social cohesion and pedestrianism. The airspace above the tracks has been utilised by provision of a podium with cutouts, further encouraging and enhancing public interaction. Care has been taken to provide and maximise green spaces within and around the precinct, making it a source
of civic pride as well. Designed as a multi-use destination, we believe the Nagpur Railway Station and its precinct can become important anchors for civic activity that can host a broader range of engagements.

Factfile

Client: Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC)

Design team: Prof. Charanjit S Shah (Founding Principal), Ar. Gurpreet S Shah (Principal Architect), Ar. Daksh Sharma

Built-up area: 6,56,487.5 sq m

Cost of the project: INR 3,000 crores

Project status: Conceptual proposal