Prime minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the Kochi Metro rail project (aptly abbreviated as ‘KOMET’) a few days back.
Dr. Singh said the Central support for the 25-km Kochi project, estimated at Rs. 5,180 crore, would be around Rs. 1,000 crore. Kochi would be the eighth city in India to have a Metro network.
As an architect, I am more interested in the built spaces for the project than its ubiquitous political controversies. Here is a chance for Kochi to build world class rapid rail stations, as is the case with many recent metros of similar class and scale.
"RAPID RAIL STATIONS ARE PUBLIC SPACES. FUNCTION, UTILITY AND SAFETY SHOULD TAKE A FRONT SEAT WHILE TAKING DESIGN DECISIONS"
I have been fortunate to be a part of the team [Mott MacDonald and Mackellar Architecture (U.K)] who designed the much famed underground stations of Delhi Metro including Connaught Place, New Delhi, Old Delhi, Central Secrateriat, Patel Chowk etc. and to further explore the design considerations for Rapid Rail stations as part of my Masters’ Thesis from IIT Roorkee. Since the building typology is a bit unfamiliar to many, I thought to share a few experiences of mine. (Believe me, I cannot do justice with a post since this is as complex a topic for even a Post Graduate thesis. See! J )