UNStudio to design terminal for first-ever cross-border cable car

UNStudio and Coop Himmelb(l)au’s design was recently selected as the winning entry in the competition for the terminal station of the Blagoveshchensk Cable Car in Russia.

This first cross-border cable car line—comprising two lines and four cabins, each with a capacity for 60 passengers and luggage space—will connect the cities of Heihe in China and Blagoveshchensk in Russia, across the Amur River, in a matter of minutes.

“Cable car systems provide a new form of public transport that is sustainable, extremely fast, reliable and efficient” said Ben van Berkel, principal of UNStudio. “Cable cars are also a very congenial way to travel as they enable us to see and experience our cities in a whole new way,”

Terminal design and Urban Tribune       

The Blagoveshchensk Cable Car Terminal is designed as an expression of the historic connection between the two cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe. Like the Amur River that has connected and supported relations between both cities, the terminal will become an engine for the creation of social connections between two cultures.

“This context provided rich inspiration for the Blagoveshchensk terminal station, which not only responds to its immediate urban location, but also becomes an expression of cultural identity and a podium for the intermingling of cultures,” said van Berkel.

The location of the terminal curates the visual relationship between both cities with an elevated viewing platform over the Amur River towards Heihe. It also frames the view from the arrival platform of the cable car back towards the city of Blagoveshchensk.

By offsetting the terminal from the existing boulevard along the river, a welcoming space is created for visitors from Heihe, connecting the ’Golden Mile’—a stretch of sand along the river—with the green plateaus of the terminal.

To enable the cable car system to land directly into the Golden Mile, the platform height is raised. The resulting stepping of the terminal creates an Urban Tribune, a shared urban space the connects the terminal to the existing cultural centre on the other side of the esplanade.

Natural circulation         

The terminal is shaped as an open and welcoming gesture, allowing visitors to enjoy commercial spaces in one connected movement with clear navigational direction. The building’s internal circulation is reflected on its exterior, thus opening its cultural and commercial programmes towards the public realm of the city of Blagoveshchensk.

The shape of the building also enables the raising of the park towards the terminal roof. These terraces and green plateaus act as an elevated urban park, creating a green space for urban arts and sculptures and viewing points over Golden Mile river-scape. The green plateaus blend naturally with park area between the terminal and river. ― Construction+ Online