Bringing citizens closer to public transport as a real alternative to using private cars has been the target in Alto Adige for several years. As a result, there has been considerable investment to create and improve infrastructure throughout the province and implement a logistics concept which is easy for the citizen to use yet is also sophisticated. To simplify the change from private to public transport, the creation of an intermodal centre was planned for the most important local stations with the aim of ensuring movement between types of transport as fluid and simple as possible.
This was the direction followed for the development of the Technical-Economic Feasibility Project, the Final Design, Working Drawings and Works Direction of the new Intermodal Centre at Brixen (BZ) railway station, conceived not only to strengthen the public transport offer but also, and mainly, to considerably improve the integration and interaction between the different types of mobility. At the same time, and from the very beginning, NET Engineering, as designer, with the provincial and municipal administrations and Strutture Trasporto Alto Adige S.p.A., turned the project into an opportunity to understand what was required by the context and users’ demands, suggesting a design that was specific, able to generate the expected innovation and also valorise the current situation.
The Intermodal Centre designed by NET Engineering has the infrastructure necessary to ensure efficient exchange between public transport and private mobility, integrating services that increase the quality of the travel experience for both tourists and citizens (ample covered parking for bikes, family parking, kiss&ride area, ‘smart’ disabled parking connected to a specific app that allows availability to be checked in advance, and floor routes for the visually impaired co-designed with stakeholders). The most important architectural work of the working drawings is the bike storage area, on a basement floor corresponding to the historic bike park in the service area which it is connected to by a ramp, a staircase and a lift; both the latter are equipped for bike access. The project also plans the creation of an underpass, auxiliary and technological areas, bus shelters, restoration of the historic depot (a protected architectural asset) which is intended for the bike rental services, and the complete redevelopment of the square in front of the station, which many people consider a true gateway to the city. The aim is to create a wide open space encouraging pedestrians through the use of urban furnishing including trees, green areas and seats uniting modernity with historic elements such as the old stone fountain restored to its function, including its social function, after cleaning and restoration.
A system view
Taking care of just the technical details is not enough to maximise the potential of an intermodal hub. The attractive, aesthetic and functional features and forward-thinking design must also be considered but, first and foremost, ability to co-ordinate the many stakeholders, constantly and effectively facilitating their discussion. Representatives of local mobility systems were called to discussions so that the Brixen Mobility Centre could function in the best way offering users a useful, high-performance service. A service that doesn’t simply plan alignment between the railway and bus timetables but also considers the needs and potential of all the players concerned. Design ideas able to increase thequality of the service offered can only emerge through specific discussion and co-ordination. Just one example, the bike rental service in the historic depot near the hub will ensure the chance to rent even high-performance bikes suitable for the cycle paths starting in Brixen. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a system view throughout all stages that enables coordination of the players and disciplines involved in the same project.
BIM: planning, works direction and operating stages
The project was entirely developed with BIM methodology to facilitate discussions between disciplines and ensure continuity between the design stage, construction of the work and its subsequent operation, allowing structured organisation of development of the work thus enabling adoption of innovative tools and the introduction of an optimal flow of operations and information management. In detail, BIM is not only an efficiency and process control tool but also facilitated the work of the construction company and the works direction stage, also under NET Engineering, and co-ordination with the other works being constructed by RFI (a station underpass and sound barriers, also designed by NET). This approach facilitates a check on progress and enables the builder to consign the end client with a model that can be used for checking and planning the necessary maintenance and subsequent operations.
Drafting the operating programme of the new Sondrio and Valchiavenna public transport network
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