Our earlier design proposal for the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LT terminus) which we had won through an international design competition was not implemented for ten years. Later, when they did decide to implement the project, it was with an entirely different brief.
Our perception of the railway terminus building as an arrival and departure space for the many thousands of train travelers, rather than as a series of train platforms topped with an impressive administration building, formed the core of our design idea. We therefore proposed this ‘great hall’: a big, high, open space with an interesting roof under which people would arrive and depart. In this very long railway terminus building, the entrance to this ‘great hall’ is at the ground level; and the hall is connected to the train platforms by a subway. The subway extends on the other side, under the arrival roads, and directly links the train platforms to the exit roads thus avoiding conflicts and confusion that could arise if the entrances to the hall were also to serve as the only exits.
The sheer volume of this open hall allows a large number of passengers to comfortably move about without feeling tightly packed into some congested space. All related activities happen in this ‘great hall’: the ticketing counters are on both sides at the two ends; above the ticket counters on the mezzanine floor are the cafeterias, fast food food counters, retiring rooms and other facilities. All these spaces overlook the ‘great hall’. As the hall is undivided and experienced as one huge volume, it affords a great sense of openness and relief. The administrative offices are unobtrusively tucked behind the ticket counters.
Most plans neglect these arrival and departure areas causing congestions and bottlenecks. In our design we conceived the ‘great hall’ and also creatively segregated the movements of arriving and departing passengers into and out of this area.
Our terminus plan is also a very interesting reversal of classical building designs – the ‘great hall’, which is clearly the forecourt to the main station building, becomes the most prominent architectural feature because of its distinctive, high and long roof.
Client: Central Railways
Area: 6600 Sqmt.
Cost: Rs. 800 Lac
Period of Construction: 2007-2009
Supporting Architects: Gaurav Manjrekar, Tushar Dure