JHP appointed to Chinese rail work

Design group JHP has won a joint pitch with architect Aedas to design a Hong Kong rail terminus which will form part of a 16 000km-long high-speed Chinese rail link costing $39.5bn (£24bn).

The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (map of Hong Kong section pictured) will link the three cities when it opens in 2015.

JHP was approached in December 2008 by Aedas. A joint credentials proposal was put to Hong Kong-based rail company MTR Corporation in January, which the pair won, beating rivals including architect Foster & Partners, according to the consultancy.

Aedas will design the structure and JHP the interior of the West Kowloon Terminus, with the latter responsible for all retail and commercial areas.

Steve Collis, joint manager of JHP, says, ‘We’ll be looking at all public areas with commercial activity on the concourse and below the station.’

The design group will contribute some architectural elements, but will focus on retail planning and design, brand strategy, identity work and wayfinding at the station.

Collis says the consultancy is still in the early stages of design planning, but will approach the project by considering ‘how people move – getting into the mind of the travelling customer and thinking about how they spend their dwell time’.

JHP expects to work until ‘at least the end of 2011’ and will commence in the final quarter of this year. The West Kowloon Terminus is split into two areas – an 11 000m2 station trading area and a 30 000m2 podium retail offer. The Hong Kong section of the railway will be an underground system and consequently a ‘cut and cover’ build method will be adopted for the station terminus.

Set up as the Mass Transit Railway Corporation in 1975, the company was re-established as the MTR Corporation in 2000. It merged with another state-owned rail operator, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, in 2007.As an operator it now carries an average of 3.7 million passengers every weekday.

The new link promises to run trains every three minutes at peak time, carry 10 000 passengers per hour in each direction and provide trains with a maximum operating speed of 200kph. Passenger journeys are expected to reach 40 million by 2030.

The entire project will be funded by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

MTR Tender opportunities:

  • In a separate invitation for expressions of interest, the train operator is looking at marketing communications for its Shenxen Metro Line Four
  • Interested parties have until 14 August to contact MTR for signage and website tenders
  • The closing date for souvenir items, graphic design, marketing research and advertising media strategy tenders was 31 July

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