Kenya recently broke ground for construction of a new railway line from Mombasa to Uganda and Rwanda.
This will call for design of useful railway stations that are in line with international trends.
Kenyan solutions and designs will need to be innovative and original so as to serve the people well.
Below are a few aspects that will need to be looked at regarding design.
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A concept that is original and conveys meaning to Kenyans need to be conceived. Since this is the Jubilee year, a concept that denotes this plus enables Kenya to be united as one can be very useful. A concept that symbolises African/Kenyan achievements, ideals and pride can be conceived. The Big 5, Lion, Giraffe, Buffalo, Rhino and Leopard can be included in the design. Other natural features such as Lake Nakuru, Indian ocean, Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana, Mt Kenya, Athi and Tana river can also be included.
The large number of people attracted to the railway station will be a good location for creation of a shopping mall. Large supermarkets, franchises uch as Bata, Banks, Hospitals and other commercial activities can be included in the railway station. This will serve the railway commuters and will also generate revenue to the Government.
Three to four storey level shopping mall set up can be designed for the railway station lobby area.
The railway functions should be well included in the design. The design should be such that people will not need sigh boards to heard them to the right directions.
Toilet facilities that can be able to serve all should be in place.
Seats should be designed such that they are uncomfortable for horizontal sleep so as to discourage vagabonds who might want to use the area as a home.
The ticket area should be easily noticeable and should be able to separate non ticket holders so that paid up travellers can be able to access the train easily.
The access level from the train to the lobby should be well raised/leveled to prevent accidental slips.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect