The Torino Porta Susa railway station is the first Italian station on the high speed Paris-Romeline. The station is an extensive hub where travellers can change easily from one mode of transport – high speed train, regional train, metro, bus, tram, car or two-wheeled vehicle – to another. It is also a centre of services and shops for commuters and local residents.
To complete this ambitious project, a mixed-use tower (hotel, offices, public amenities) will be built to the south. It will be accessible to the public and linked directly to the station.
Located between the Spina (the long boulevard crossing Turin from north to south on the site of former railway lines) and the Corso Bolzano, the station is in the form of a long gallery. It is covered by an imposing glass canopy, 385 metres long and 30 metres wide, which is joined perpendicularly at 100-metre intervals by walkways positioned in line with existing streets.
Visitors enter the gallery at these points through large vertical openings in the glass gallery, each protected by a wide canopy. Inside the gallery is a series of volumes in steel and glass, housing services and shops. They rest on a two-level concrete base occupied by car parks and technical areas.
A real street in itself, the covered gallery is bounded to the south by a public amenity tower and to the north by a sloping esplanade linking it to the historic city and the old station (which comprised only a passenger hall). Despite the differences in ground level from north to south and between the Corso Bolzano and the Spina, travellers using the new station move easily and smoothly between the five levels, by means of a gently sloping ramp, escalators, staircases and lifts.
Both an intermodal terminal and an urban locus, Torino Porta Susa station is a highly innovative project in the world of rail transport. It integrates all the requirements of an interchange hub in a new and resolutely contemporary city space: the city enters the station and the station becomes a piece of the city. It can also be seen as a continuation of the urban style of Italy’s great 19th-century city arcades (Galleria San Federico in Turin, Galleria Umberto I in Naples, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan), and of the great concourses of Europe’s 19th-century railway stations.
The skin of the glass roof (15,000 square metres) is entirely covered in single-crystal photovoltaic sensors positioned between the two layers of glass. They also act as shading devices, optimizing the comfort of people using this public space in summer and winter alike. Energy production is 680,000 kWh per year. The whole volume is ventilated naturally – from the platforms, which have high inertia, to the main hall, which is more open to the exterior. The station is temperature-controlled in winter and summer.Location: Torino, Italy
Architect: AREP (prime contractor): J.M. Duthilleul, E. Tricaud, S. d’Ascia architect, in association with A. Magnaghi architect
Client: RFI – Rete ferroviaria italiana