|Name:||Syed Maruf Hossain|
|Studio Master:||Sujaul Islam Khan, Mozaffaruddin Chowdhury, Sadmin Sadiana.|
|University:||North South University (NSU)|
The Kamalapur Railway Station, designed by Robert Boughey in the 1960s, is the largest and most significant railway station for transit between Dhaka and the rest of Bangladesh. The railway station is currently serving a large portion of the country’s commuting population and functioning adequately to a large extent. Due to the rapid growth in the economy, many people come to Dhaka city for various purposes, leading to rapid urbanization. Thus, to support the insufficient transport system and networking with Dhaka city, the government has taken multiple initiatives to restrain the issue.
Padma Multipurpose Bridge is a megaproject planned to develop regional connectivity and serve the country’s south zone. Kamalapur Railway Station will be the final destination in Dhaka for the new rail link coming from the south zone. However, the Railway Station already serves beyond its capacity, and additional passengers will generate a massive occupancy and traffic cognition at Kamalapur. Furthermore, according to the revised STP (Strategic Transport Plan), MRT-1 and MRT-6 will connect at the Kamalapur Railway Station, adding more complexity to that area. So, the proposal of the thesis project will help to support the upcoming load within 20 years and also an initiative of integrating different transportation modes in a cohesive way to facilitate traffic movement as well as contribute to the urban fabric in terms of environment and social interaction to make it a vital transit hub.
A transit hub becomes more vibrant and lively with local businesses and public recreational space around it. Surrounded by a dense residential area, the railway station can be considered a focal point or hub connecting users of all age groups offering various facilities. The aim is to create an urban experience through uninterrupted pedestrian movement, smooth vehicular circulation, recreational spaces with plaza, greenery, and transforming the whole 150-acre site, currently acting as a bounded negative space, into an urban park.
According to PPP (Public-Private Partnership), the existing ICD (Inland Container Depot) at Kamalapur will be relocated to Dhirasram, Joydebpur. Thus, almost half of the site area will become empty, offering a scope to rethink the Kamalapur Railway Station. Currently, there are two existing terminals; one is the primary and the other is just for Narayanganj passengers. Both of the existing terminals cannot handle the increased passenger load in the future. Therefore, the purpose of the project is to shift the whole railway station program into a new terminal with adequate amenities while keeping the existing terminal for the public realm as it is a national asset.
The main challenge of this project is the integration of MRT-1 & MRT-6. According to STP, MRT LINE-1 will run from the airport to Kamalapur, while MRT LINE-6 (elevated) will run from Mirpur to Motijheel and then to Kamalapur. MRT LINE-1 has a subway section from Notunbazaar to Kamlapur. Therefore, a multilevel spine has been designed to link transportation mediums as well as the neighborhood and serve as a common platform for various user groups. The existing terminals are retained and renovated, with the present main terminal proposed to be an exhibition gallery and the other as a library. The library and the exhibition gallery connect on the ground level through the spine. As a result, the spine serves as a hub with diverse activities and functions, playing a significant role in urban life and serving as a transit hub.
The design proceeds with pedestrian and vehicular circulation, along with additional interconnections. The existing main entrance is on the west side of the current railway station, at a three-way intersection, which is a major concern. During pick-up hours, the roads get extremely busy, resulting in traffic congestion and also the situation may worsen due to Padma rail route extension. Therefore, the entrance has been shifted to the east side of the existing terminal, adjacent to the Atish Deepankar Road, where the ICD is also situated. Following the complete relocation of ICD, a new railway station can be proposed for that site. Designing the new railway station separates pedestrian and vehicular circulations by establishing several layers where vehicle circulation is positioned below the surface level helps to create a plaza on the surface level so that pedestrians may move freely without encountering any obstructions on their way to the railway station.