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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Noord in Barneveld, Netherlands by NL Architects

 
October 25th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: NL Architects

ProRail, responsible for the railway network in the Netherlands, together with the so called spoorbouwmeester Koen van Velsen (‘the national supervisor for railway architecture’) started a campaign to make waiting more comfortable: Prettig Wachten.

Travelers experience waiting on a station as much longer then waiting within a vehicle. Surveys have indicated that waiting time is experienced as 3 times longer than it actually is. In this respect especially small and medium sized stations proof a big challenge. These smaller stations are usually unmanned, desolate, often creating a sense un-safety. What can we do to improve them?

Image Courtesy © Bart van Hoek

  • Architects: NL Architects
  • Project: Noord
  • Location: Barneveld, Netherlands
  • Photography: Bart van Hoek, Marcel van der Burg
  • Initiative ‘Prettig Wachten’ and Supervision: Spoorbouwmeester Koen van Velsen / ProRail
  • Client:ProRail
  • Project Architect: Gerbrand van Oostveen
  • Team: Kirsten Hüsig, Barbara Luns, Gert Jan Machiels and Gen Yamamoto with Aude Robert and Christian Asbo
  • Consultant: Movares
  • Contractor: Strukton

Image Courtesy © Bart van Hoek

The waiting areas of in total twenty stations throughout the country will be upgraded, both functionally and cosmetically: introduction of washrooms, wifi, floor heating, railway TV. Or Art!

One of the keys to the success of Prettig Wachten is to introduce human presence on these stations, to create some sort of informal supervision. An effort is made to create small multifunctional shops. In f for instance a flower shop will be opened, the florist will also be serving coffee and will even be cleaning the restrooms.

Image Courtesy © Bart van Hoek

In Barneveld Noord a bike-repair shop will be included run by people that are ‘differently able’. They will contribute to the maintenance and hopefully prevent the broken window syndrome.

In Barneveld Noord a new station will be build. Well station, perhaps more a bus-stop. But then again, quite an intriguing bus-stop.

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

It is supposed to be a temporary structure. Hence the station will be build out of shipping containers. The containers contain space, but also form space.

They will be combined into an explicit arrangement. Together they form an ambiguous but strong sign. Minimum effort, maximum output.

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Three containers are ‘suspended’ in the air. Together they form a ‘roof’. One contains the installations, the other storage. The third will be opened at the bottom. It forms the headroom for the enclosed but fully transparent waiting area, creating a double high space.

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

The fourth container is flipped to an upright position. It makes an instant tower. The tower contains a clock. And a wind vane. Since Barneveld is the egg capital of the Netherlands -the station is located on the so-called Chicken Line- not the typical rooster will be mounted, but a gilded chicken.

The tower holds a lavatory, 11.998mm high, topped by a glass roof. Royal Flush.

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Image Courtesy © Marcel van der Burg

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

Image Courtesy © NL Architects

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Category: Station

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