The Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) line is a high speed rail line that runs 345 km along the west coast of Taiwan from the national capital of Taipei in the north to the southern city of Kaohsiung. Service commenced in January 2007. Trains run at up to 300 km/h and can travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung in about 90 minutes. Over 90% of the nation's population is accessible via the network of 11 THSR stations. Ridership neared 50 million passengers in 2014 with a train punctuality rate of nearly 100%. Both domestic air travel and long-distance automobile traffic have been significantly reduced. In addition to greatly reducing energy consumption and emissions compared to cars and buses, THSR boasts a flawless safety record.
The Hsinchu High Speed Rail Station was part of the first phase of THSR stations, six in total. The station is located in the northwestern Taiwanese city Zhubei. The area is well-known for its many technology industry companies, and interestingly enough its windy climate, generated by easterly winds off of the East China Sea. The north-south oriented Hsinchu High Speed Rail Station (particularly the platform) are shielded from the west-to-east winds by a curved, parallelogram-shaped roof resembling a sail. The entire massive stainless steel clad roof is supported by six identical trusses, each cut at different points. Only two of the twelve truss ends meet the ground. Additional wind posts extending from the elliptical facade and interior columns from the platform provide additional structural support. The Hsinchu High Speed Rail Station was completed in October 2006 and has won several local architecture awards.
Location: Zhubei, Taiwan
Gross Building Area: 20,000 m^2
Scope of Service: Schematic design through construction administration
Client: Bureau of High Speed Rail, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Taiwan Government
Architect: Kris Yao | Artech (Taipei, Taiwan)