Dutch railway stations are ready for the future
This week Utrecht opened its brand new central station. It is the sixth in a row of eight main Dutch stations which have undergone renovations to make them ‘ready for the future’. This means they are built sustainably using their own solar power to supply at least part of their energy requirements. They are safe, comfortable and easy to access. And of course they are transport hubs with the capacity to meet the growing demands of increasing urban populations.
Distinct terminal building
The old Utrecht Central station was demolished in the 1970s giving way to a modern shopping centre connecting the new terminal to the old city centre. However, the station’s identity was lost and passengers felt confused as they negotiated their way past a labyrinth of shops to get to their trains. Now this architectural mishap has been rectified with a new and distinct terminal building.
World's largest bike park
The new station Is light and airy, with a high curved aluminium roof, daylight entering the building via glass walls and clearly distinct from the shopping mall. An artistic cloud of light marks a meeting place for passengers. The two main entrances open into two new city squares. The busses and trains run on the ground level below the station hall. The curved roof dips over the turn-styles where passengers check in for their journeys and rises a little above the bus terminals. The station also houses the world’s largest bike park with space for 12,500 bicycles. Two hundred thousand passengers pass through Utrecht Central station daily.
Recycled platform roof
The platform roof is also made of class with solar cells producing the energy to light the station and run the escalators. The old cast iron platform roof has also been recycled to accommodate a semi-covered market place and events venue Berlijn Plein in the new Leidse Rijn neighbourhood.
New Dutch terminals
In 2014 Rotterdam Central Station reopened with the largest solar roof on a station in Europe. Delft Station followed in 2015 with its state of the art interior incorporating a modern take on the famous Delft Blue. Next Arnhem Station was turned from a small town stop into an urban hub. The upgraded The Hague Central Station opened earlier this year with its diamond shaped glass roof panels, as did Breda’s bold new station, in which the use of brick gives the interior a distinctive but contemporary look.
The realisation of Utrecht Central Station was carried out by BNTHMCRWL architects. Next up for completion is Amsterdam Central Station which has already undergone major transformation inside while the historic façade remains intact.