The planned rehabilitation of Denver Union Station is incredibly ambitious - and we're not just talking about cobbling together enough funding to afford its $500 million price tag. The plan involves coordinating commuter rail, light rail, a bus terminal, historic structures and new public spaces in an area stretched out over several busy city blocks - and somehow making sure the end result looks real purty.
The architects charged with that task have released new concept drawings of what they've come up with, some of which you can find above and below, and the rest can be ogled by clicking here. The designs are far from final - the transit architecture is only 70 percent finished and the landscape architecture is just 15 percent complete - but it's still great eye candy for civic boosters and development geeks. Best of all are the shots of sweeping, modern structures like the tent-like train hall superimposed against familiar LoDo landmarks.
The images also illustrate a few recent design concerns. Those include the downsizing of the bridge over the train tracks north of the station from a spacious "kinetic plaza" to a ho-hum pedestrian bridge, and the cramped feeling of the subterranean walkway beneath 17th Street, thanks to the fact that most of the underground space has been reserved for a bevy of RTD buses.
Another glaring omission is any design concepts at all for what's to be done with the station's historic train hall. Since that's the centerpiece of the entire project, we'd like to see somebody come up with some cool eye candy for that.
Union Station plaza
17th Street gardens
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Light rail station