When we think of architectural marvels of our times, we usually think of Dubai. Burj Khalifa, Palm and World islands, Dubai International Airport – Dubai seems to be the hub of architectural innovation. But if United Network Studio, or UNStudio, has its way, that is about to change. UNStudio has brought Europe back to the forefront of architectural innovation, that too in a domain that is amazingly European – the Railways.
Europe is known for its high speed rail network. And for the futuristic rail system, UNStudio has designed the futuristic Railway Station in the Netherlands. Backed by the Dutch government, The Arnhem Central Station will be the ‘front door’ to the city. It is a hub, with trains arriving from Germany, France and Belgium. The new terminal houses commercial areas, a conference center, and provides links to the nearby office plaza, city center, underground parking garage and a hotel. The area around the station will become a place in itself, with 160 km2 of commercial and retail complex. The terminal itself is a multi-modal transport hub, with connections to regional and local bus services and integrated taxi stands. What’s more, there is a “dive” which trains that don’t stop at Arnhem can use – these trains can directly bypass the station by going under it, without affecting the traffic at the station.
But the wow-factor is the design itself, which is touted as new and elastic in its feel. The design is column-free and curved. After years of multi-disciplinary research, the designers have tried to create a terminal where the flow of passengers is intuitive. Gentle inclines, carefully placed lighting, and curving “twists” claim to facilitate the flow of passengers. The station, that took 19 years of planning and construction, was thrown open to public on 19th November 2015.
Country of Origin: Netherlands