Train Viewing Platform

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

The site is actually a brownfield, which was a main driver for the project from the start. Up until the mid-50s, the M.J. Daly Co. dye manufacturing plant across the street used the property as chemical storage. By the time our client acquired it, barrels of chemicals had contaminated the soil and required containment with a below-grade fence and clay cap, preventing anything from being built on top due to the inability to dig for foundations. Soil samples were taken across the site, but the thickness of the clay cap varied so much that there were areas with less than 4” of top soil, causing issues. Re-grading of the site, the location of the footings for the platform, underground utilities, and drainage all had to be carefully designed and executed so as not to disturb the seal. The asphalt parking lot is actually serving as an additional “cap” to contain the toxic soil.

The form is based on the old passenger train station platforms that were ubiquitous in small railroad towns throughout the country. The proportions, simple roof shape, and large overhangs speak to that style. Materials like weathering steel for the structural elements and exposed concrete for the platform and elevator shaft were inspired by the industrial history and bring a more modern feel to the whole structure. Warm wood on the railings and underside of the roof softens the material palette and relates to the traditional wood ties of the tracks. Because of the difference in grade, the goal was to bring visitors up to the level of the trains.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Small Scale (<10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

October, 2017