Gautrain is a new rapid transit network serving South Africa’s largest metropolitan area. It connects Johannesburg to Pretoria, some 50 kilometres to the north, and also provides rail service to O.R Tambo International Airport for the first time. Well-integrated with other modes of transport, the Gautrain project provides a more sustainable alternative to the region’s congested highways.
Commissioned by the largest public-private venture in Africa, Farrells designed three successive stations: Midrand, Centurion, and Pretoria. Their common architectural language was inspired by the umbrella-like canopy of the acacia tree. Tree-like structures support the platform roofs, which are open at the sides to allow for natural ventilation and lighting. In addition to the station buildings, each site accommodates a transport interchange consisting of a vehicular drop-off zone, a bus station, and a park and ride accommodating not fewer than 800 cars.