The Amhult Travel Centre serves as the northern gateway to the entire Gothenburg public transport system, connecting the residents of the newly created Amhult neighbourhood to the surrounding suburbs and the city centre.
The brief called for the design of a new travel centre that provides a sense of place for local commuters whilst integrating seamlessly into an existing framework of Västtrafik transport hubs throughout the greater Gothenburg region. Central to this brief was a desire to promote sustainability through the reduction of car dependency. Planning of the precinct prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists and public transport patrons, offering a holistic response to sustainable transport. At the heart of this new hub, is the terminal building. Here the commuter experience is enhanced through the provision of attractive waiting areas, a protected ticket sales and customer service area, restroom facilities and a small commercial kiosk.
A series of different sheltered areas within and around the terminal, not only provide commuters protection from the infamously strong winds of the Swedish west coast, but also serve as welcoming environments in which people might gather. Staff areas are also provided in the terminal. Situated on the upper floor, separated from public facilities, these include a dining area and kitchenette, bathroom facilities and small sleeping area. The terminal building has been designed and built to meet the sustainability standards of the Swedish Green Building Council (Miljöbyggnad). The Amhult Travel Center was designed as a catalyst for future Västtrafik projects, providing a small grain, user focused response to the increased demand for sustainable urban development in the surrounding suburbs of Gothenburg.
Amhult is located on the island of Hisingen, 15 km north west of Gothenburg’. Formerly the site of the Torslanda Airport, the area has been re-zoned as a residential neighbourhood, with a total of 1,100 new homes planned along with 28,000 m2 of commercial development. This rapid increase in residents, along with a statistically higher than average car dependency, demanded a new and improved public transport strategy. Today the Amhult Travel Centre operates at the heart of this strategy. This transport hub is designed to encourage increased public transport patronage, providing access to nine bus lines, with tram access planned for the future.
The main terminal building was inspired by the aviation history of the Amhult area. The building canopy mimics the form of an aeroplane wing extending out to provide shelter over the terminal forecourt.The interior of the building houses a series of different programs which provide comfort to both travelers and drivers. A simple material palette is employed to reflect the local residents’ strong connection to the west coast. The moss-sedum roofing material represents the low growing vegetation found on the nearby sea cliffs. Timber, used both as a construction and cladding material for local fishing huts and seaside cottages, is used throughout the exterior and interior of the building. Granite, traditionally quarried in the nearby hills, has been used for paving throughout the platform area.
The expansive roof canopy is penetrated by the timber clad volume of the central building, creating a visual contrast between the strong horizontal lines of the external waiting areas and the vertical form of the central volume. This contrast draws focus to the centre of the terminal helping to guide passengers to the amenities and services housed within. This timber box employs local building traditions and embodies present sustainable construction and cladding methods. The interior spaces of the building follow the same principles, creating a warm and welcoming environment. The terminal canopy features a large cut out revealing the moss-sedum covered roof. This cut out allows the greenery from the roof to extend into the sheltered exterior waiting areas.
A sense of security for the passengers is created with small scale waiting areas with open spaces constructed of wood, stone and concrete. A red-brown glaze coats the timber exterior, providing an earthy contrast to the metal framing of the canopy. Illuminated at night, the floor to ceiling, glazed interior waiting area provides an added sense of safety to the precinct whilst acting as a form of passive way finding for passengers arriving at the Travel Centre.