Penn Station Envisioned As A Green Oasis For All Travelers

In a city as densely populated New York, there’s bound to be some congestion. Penn Station sees over 640,000 travelers a day, making it the busiest terminal in the nation. This year, the Municipal Arts Society issued a design challenge to some of the best architectural firms in the world: to redefine rail commuting and create a new Penn Station that can accommodate the varied and increased demand of the next century.

H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture was one of only four firms chosen to present a design. Their submission includes features that would make Penn Station a hub of daily activity, a less-stressful oasis where harried travelers can enjoy green space and fresh air while waiting on their train.

H3 Penn Station Design

All images © H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

The station’s 7th Avenue entrance would be completely revamped with a park that stretches for three blocks. The addition would  establish an open green space in a part of Manhattan that currently has very few. Inside the main Train Hall, 120’ high, large skylights would capture daylight from above, giving rushing passengers a burst of Vitamin D and reducing energy consumption costs.

H3 Penn Station Design

Above a planned interior retail space, a three acre stepped garden, with pedestrian and bike pathways, and a rooftop gallery space is accessible directly from 8th Ave. “It’s a sunlit horticultural garden, fragrant, colorful, and green, overlooking the west side with views of the river beyond,” explained the designers in their presentation.

And this spectacular revision of New York City’s most precious transportation icon is only a part of the plan. H3 also included expansion of transport capacity with eight new high-speed rails, and a new metro line that would connect Penn Station to a relocated (and redesigned) Madison Square Garden. The new design would, as Design Boom states, expand access to Manhattan’s West Side Underground, and with elevated pedestrian and cyclist pathways, free any type of commuter to easily reach the transportation hub.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

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