Learnings from Borlänge

Train Station Michail Sarafidis More

This proposal for Bolange’s Central Station features a symmetrical facade in a simplified Greek Doric style. Built in purple-red granite and white-washed brick, it creates a massive monumental composition which, as the traveler moves closer, begins to reveal its more intricate and idiosyncratic details.

The design fluctuates between large expanses of rough natural materials and short bursts of extravagance to accentuate important elements. The central entrance features a modified Serlian-window-type archway with a semi-circular opening above. The arch is crowned by a globe ornament, in contrast with the starkness of the rest of the building. A similar Serlian arch motif is repeated on the other entrances to the station, giving the design a unifying uniformity. The entire building is set on a series of intersecting axes, each in turn determining the position and orientation of the rooms they run through. The central hall is positioned on the intersection of the two major axes, with two waiting rooms either side. Two smaller halls are placed at each of the two short ends of the building, while the Doric colonnade runs the entire length of the building on south-eastern main elevation, providing shelter. Auxiliary spaces such as shops and amenities are not shown in the plan.The vast copper roof, sadly not completely resolved in this design, is steep to provide protection from heavy snowfall. It is supported by a simplified Corinthian cornice made in granite, although in retrospect I would have removed the cornice and instead replaced it with exposed timber rafters set in a deep projection. 

Pressed for time, the drawing is not entirely finished. It would perhaps help the reader to imagine the intricate ironwork of the wall of glazing behind the colonnade and arched entrances, which look menacingly empty at the moment, as well as the discreet cornice over the windows of the first floor. All these elements would help ‘ground’ the design by providing an additional sense of the human scale. This design has been an exercise in the intersection of the rigidly classical with the vernacular, of mass with instances of intricacy, and although not entirely successful it has been a great learning experience. The more sharp-eyed reader might also notice a certain flying squirrel in this drawing, drawn as part of a lost bet, a reminder that Engelsberg is both a place for learning and a place for forging friendships.