The Florence TAV Station in Italy will make high-speed, long distance trains travelling through the city a thing of the past.
When it opens to the public in 2010, trains will pass through a seven kilometer tunnel, with the entrance at Campo di Marte station and the exit at Castello. The existing railway tracks will be re-used by a new tramline as city transport with new stops and new trains.
The new underground station for high speed trains, in the Belfiore-Macellihigh, will be a huge complex covering over 45 square metres with avant-garde and eco-friendly technology. It will descend as far as 25 metres below ground and has a large glass cover.
"The scheme is designed to ensure durability and ease of maintenance, to minimise energy consumption and reduce running cost," Foster + Partners explain their project.
"Natural light is a crucial part of this equation, so too is temperature control. The arching roof structure provides a system for effective temperature regulation by drawing warm air out through via permanent vents. It also incorporates photovoltaic cells to generate power. The walls and floors are lined with a palette of rich materials familiar throughout the city - including a highly figured green and white marble - which will patinate gracefully over time. Sensitive to its historic location, but forward looking in its use of energy and other resources, the station offers a model for contemporary rail travel."
This was the stuff of science fiction when I was a kid, and now Foster and Partners is making it a reality.