The blurry interface of suburbia and exurbia (a residential area outside of a
city and beyond suburbia) represents a strange and alien territory for
architects, a land of vague contexts and haphazardly (un)organized spaces. The
intermodal transportation center designed by Zaha Hadid for the outer limits of
Strasbourg capitalizes on the very haphazardness of its suburban setting.
With characteristic elegance and deceptive simplicity, Hadid managed to
reconcile the ubiquitous car with the dense historic fabric of Strasbourg, a
city that lies near France's border with Germany. The architect folded a zone of
concrete up from the ground to form a canopy that stretches diagonally across
bus and tram lanes toward the parking lot and Strasbourg beyond, as though
pulled in that direction.
The lots demonstrate Hadid's assumption that the buses and trams are a
permanently impermanent part of the station's overall organization and
composition, and the cars that park there are treated as natural phenomena with
their own diurnal rhythms.