Barneveld Noord Train Station Building, NL Architects Holland, ProRail Project
Barneveld Noord Station, Netherlands
Architecture Development in The Netherlands – design by NL Architects
23 Oct 2013
Barneveld Noord Train Station
Design: NL Architects
Location: province of Gelderland, centre of the Netherlands
ProRail, responsible for the Dutch railway network together with the national supervisor for railway architecture started a campaign to make waiting more comfortable. Smaller stations can be desolate and dull. What can architects do to improve them? This building shows that with a little imagination a basic typology can be transformed into life-affirming architecture.
I find the work of NL Architects refreshing: here is yet another project that pushes the well known Dutch talent for lateral thinking. You wonder what the tower is for, this is a small station in the middle of the countryside, right? It is for the toilet, yes 12m of tower for a toilet.
And then you see the golden chicken on the roof and see the CAD drawing and think “oh wow, these crazy Dutch architects have seen the once obligatory birds that architects sprinkle on drawings and decided to make it real, ie build it”. However, the reality is it celebrates the location and its connection to egg production.
This project reminds me of the work of FAT in England and, to a certain extent, Will Alsop. The work is free, questioning and ultimately life-affirming in its zany creativity.
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?
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 Wolvega for instance a flower shop will be opened, the florist will also be serving coffee and will even be cleaning the restrooms.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Barneveld Noord Train Station – Building Information
Barneveld Noord Train station in the framework of Prettig Wachten, 2011, completion 2013
Initiative ‘Prettig Wachten’ and Supervision: Spoorbouwmeester Koen van Velsen / ProRail
NL Architects Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Kamiel Klaasse
Project Architect: Gerbrand van Oostveen
Team: Kirsten Hüsig, Barbara Luns, Gert Jan Machiels and Gen Yamamoto with Aude Robert and Christian Asbo
Barneveld Noord Train Station images / information from NL Architects
A recent Barneveld building design by NL Architects on e-architect:
Barneveld Centrum, province of Gelderland, centre of the Netherlands
photo : Marcel van der Burg
Barneveld Centrum Building
Location:Barneveld Noord, Netherlands ‘
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Barneveld Noord Station – page