Charles Station


Charleston, SC




City of Charleston


The competition site is located on a former trains depot site, theintersect of historic Meeting Street, Museum Mile and an historic residential district. Deprived of any up to date transit system, the proposal introduces the “Hub”, in an already famously walkable city. Ideally the facility should mend this critical but as yet unrealized link in the city’s fabric.
The HUB Competition brief includes a light rail transit facility, retail, multipurpose meeting space, bicycle rental and repair and café. The KGP proposal capitalizes on the city’s affinity to integrate indoor and outdoor space as manifested in the traditional typology. The ubiquitous veranda, a reoccurring element, combines naturally ventilated interior spaces with intimate courtyards and porches along the public plaza. Each courtyard crosses through the HUB to connect a new public plaza on the west to Meeting Street on the east. The courtyards are created by subtracting components from the larger mass. These subtractions are placed along the transit line to create “node stations” or members of an extended family. The HUB will physically integrate the adjacent institutional, commercial and residential urban edges while the node stations will extend beyond the immediate context via the transit network.
Retail and commercial uses are placed along Meeting Street to activate the sidewalk and provide an urban edge that seamlessly connects to the light rail platform at the northern end of the block. Here, transit users are provided with dynamic outdoor space for waiting, purchasing tickets and storing bicycles. A bicycle storage tower marks the corner of the block and defines an open space between the HUB and the Visitors Center. On the western edge of the HUB a new plaza is designed to provide an outdoor gathering space for special events and large groups. This plaza and the living roof of the HUB act as an extension of the existing park to the north extending into the residential district.