In the early part of 2011, a general engineering and construction firm in San Rafael, California was tasked with an architectural challenge. Caltrain had contracted the Valentine Corporation to upgrade and renovate three train stations on the line that runs between San Jose and San Franciscoand among the three, was the largest US commuter train station west of the Mississippi. With multiple points of entry and the thousands of commuters that passed through each of these stations daily, safety and security had to play a critical role in both the architectural and landscape planning. Providing adequate safety and security that did not detract from each of the stations’ architecture and landscape was the challenge presented to the architects at the Valentine Corporation and they found a solution in the use of steel bollards and decorative bollard covers by Reliance Foundry.
High-impact, steel bollards increase safety by defining pedestrian areas and restricting vehicular access. Each day, thousands of commuters pass through the Diridon, Milbrae, and the 4th and King Stations and the Valentine Corporation recognized that bollards could be employed to provide the necessary level of safety and security at each of the stations’ entranceways where large volumes of pedestrians and vehicles converge. A staple of parking lot safety and building security, steel bollards provide the level of impact resistance necessary to keep pedestrians safe from the breeching of errant vehicles and from potential, terrorist acts of violence.
The model R-7744 bollard contributes to the modern and functional architectural feel of the 4th and King Train Station in San Francisco
Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, there have been calls for increased levels of security in almost all architectural applications and site furnishing is no different. Bollards have been increasingly used in these applications to deter terrorists and subversives from unlawfully entering transportation centers. The Valentine Corporation used security pipe with a 10¾" outside diameter to create defensive, high-impact bollards that prevent illegal vehicle infringement.
In an unadorned state, bollards are unattractive steel columns and this often makes it difficult to maintain design integrity. All three stations were created with distinctive architectural form and the Valentine Corporation recognized that the steel columns would detract from each station’s architecture and leave them with an industrial feel. The solution was decorative bollard covers that soften the appearance of the anti-ram, steel columns.
The Valentine Corporation selected Reliance Foundry’s model R-7744 and model R-7735 bollard covers to add ornamentation to the unattractive steel columns. Composed of powder-coated steel in a straightforward design, the model R-774 projected a modern and functional aesthetic that complemented the architectural form of the Milbrae and 4th and King stations. Conversely, the model R-7535 was used to compliment the traditional architecture of the Diridon station. Reliance Foundry’s proprietary mounting system made installation a breeze. With a treaded rod, a washer and a bolt, the bollards were fastened to the security posts in a matter of minutes.
The model R-7535 bollard contributes to the traditional architecture of the Diridon Train Station in San Jose.
The Valentine Corporation’s work demonstrated that safety and security do not have to equal the loss of aesthetic value. The Caltrain project was a success and commuters continue to be impressed by how the bollard covers complement each station’s architecture.
“The whole project worked out really well," says Valentine Corporation Project Manager Bill Barend, "The bollard covers were easy to install and they really finished off the landscaping and architecture nicely."
Visit Reliance Foundry’s bollard catalogue to see the many architectural enhancements its line of ductile iron bollards can create.