Contest: Student Architects Get Shot at High Speed Rail Station Design

What will stations look like for proposed high speed rail? Texas college students can submit their designs in Texas Central Partners contest.

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Texas college students will have the opportunity to leave their architectural mark on stations for one of the first high speed rail systems in the nation.

Texas Central Partners, the Dallas-based private company that will build the proposed Dallas-to-Houston bullet train, has started a competition seeking design proposals for the system’s rail stations. Students and multidisciplinary teams studying architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, or transportation at various Texas colleges including The University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Tech University, and Texas A&M University are eligible to apply, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The bullet train potentially could get passengers from Dallas to Houston in 90 minutes, transporting North Texas residents at the speeds of the Japanese Shinkansen bullet train.

Texas Central is “excited that Texas students will bring new ideas, energy, and vision to the development of the proposed stations in Dallas, Houston and the Brazos Valley,” according to its website.

“Students like [the contest participants] are early adopters, driving demand for travel options like the Texas bullet train,” Holly Reed, Texas Central spokeswoman, said in a statement to The Morning News.

Developer Jack Matthews told The Morning News he hopes the design contest will “spur out-of-the-box thinking about what a transit hub of the future can be.” His real estate company, Matthews Southwest, will be working with Texas Central on a mixed-used development around the planned Dallas train station. 

“It could be massive and it could be nothing, but I’d be very surprised if nothing came out of these thoughts,” Matthews said. “At the very least, it’s going to give us a nice starting point.”

There will be winners for three categories: architectural station design, urban design, and sustainable design.

The prize for each category is $5,000 for the winners’ school and $2,000 to split among team members.

Proposals are due by Oct. 31, and winners will be announced on Nov. 21.


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