The redesign and renovation of the area around the main station in Arnhem has taken almost 20 years. Since 1996, when it won the competition for the urban development plan, the Amsterdam architectural firm UNStudio worked on the project with engineering firm Arup. With the completion of the new station building, the project is now largely finished.
Engineering movement main station Arnhem/NL
Main station, Arnheim/NL
Pro Rail B.V., Utrecht/NL
Design and construction:
UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, Amsterdam/NL
Steel profile system:
VISS Basic von Schüco Stahlsysteme Jansen
Jansen AG, Oberriet/CH
The new transfer hall houses all the station facilities and also replaces the forecourt. Its flowing form is the result of analysing the diff erent types of movement of the 55,000 people who use the building every day. The topography of the site, which has a height difference of three metres, made it advantageous to spread the different passenger flows across two levels under a wide-spanned roof. The central element of the transfer hall is the »twist« – a twisted column which turns into a fl at ramp connecting the ground fl oor level with the one above. It draws together the fl ow of passengers, then disperses them on the shortest routes. All transitions are fluid and designed above all to be continuous.
The signposting is based on uninterrupted sightlines, and the enormous curved glass façades play an important part in this. UN Studio wanted to produce a sophisticated, barely noticeable structure. Up to six metres high and 25 metres long, the façades could only be built as cantilevered steel constructions. They were constructed as a project-specific solution using the VISS Basic steel profile system. The independently supported add-on system grants architects great design freedom as well as a high degree of planning and process reliability since VISS Basic is based on the tried-and-tested VISS system. VISS Basic allows thermally broken façades to be attached to any desired substructures. The project-specific façade of Arnhem railway station was constructed using narrow profile face widths of only 50 millimetres.
Words: Anne Marie Ring
Photos: Frank Hanswijk, Rotterdam/NL
Image rights: Jansen AG, Oberriet/CH