All Aboard Florida
All Aboard Florida is the only privately owned, operated, and financed project of its kind being developed in the United States today. All Aboard Florida’s 235-mile network of rail lines will connect South Florida to Central Florida by operating on the existing Florida East Coast (FEC) corridor and creating new tracks to Orlando. The unprecedented infrastructure project will provide a vital new service for Florida residents, business people, and visitors and will eliminate more than three million car trips from the region’s roadways each year.
SOM’s three stations — located in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach — will be key portals within All Aboard Florida’s rail system. Envisioned not only as gateways to their respective cities, but also as iconic destinations, the terminals will be filled with spaces to shop, eat, and meet. A common material palette, design aesthetic, and planning strategy unite the three facilities.
In downtown Miami, SOM has responded to a challenging and dense site by elevating the railways 50 feet in the air. Retail spaces will be vertically layered beneath the soaring tracks, and ample use of glass will give the station a shimmering, lightweight quality. This innovative solution allows thru-streets to remain open to traffic and for valuable streetfront real estate to remain leasable. Moreover, this bold architectural gesture creates a landmark terminal — a symbol of a 21st-century Miami.
The 27,500-square-foot Fort Lauderdale station will feature a sequence of stacked glass boxes that will span across NW 2nd Street in the city’s downtown. Supported by concrete V-braces, the station will rise above surrounding buildings, serving as a powerful urban focal point. The plan for the station itself is open and intuitive. Arriving passengers will enter a glazed ticketing lobby at grade level, ascend up an escalator to a bridge over NW 2nd Street, and enter a departures lounge. The use of glass throughout this sequence of spaces provides a constant visual connection to the city as well as approaching trains. Viewed from a distance, the station’s stacked, dynamic form evokes a feeling of movement.
The 60,000-square-foot West Palm Beach station will be located in the heart of the city’s downtown. Great care has been taken to link the new facility to existing vehicular, trolley, and pedestrian networks and establish links to the Tri-Rail and Amtrak West Palm Beach Station. Prominently sited at a nexus of urban activity, the station will serve as a landmark for the community and an infrastructural catalyst for continued reinvestment in the neighborhood. Composed of stacked concrete and glass volumes supported by concrete V-braces, the elevated passenger concourse will echo the materiality and overall geometry of both the Miami and Fort Lauderdale facilities.