Central Station Arnhem
Arnhem, 6811 MA
1996 – 2015
In 1845 the first railway line in Arnhem was festively opened. There were three trains per day between Utrecht and Arnhem. The train travel time to Amsterdam was 17 hours and to The Hague 24 hours! The first station was demolished due to a lack of capacity and replaced by a new one in 1867. This building was severely damaged during WWII and in 1954 the third station was opened at this location. From the 1980s there were plans for a new station. In 1989 architect Teun Koolhaas (the cousin of Rem Koolhaas of OMA) was asked for a design, this was finished in 1992. There was a lot of criticism because several houses had to be demolished around the station. In 1996, the plans were thrown in the trash.
Long construction time
Ben Van Berkel of the UNStudio architectural firm was chosen to design new plans for the Arnhem station. These were finally approved and in 2005 the construction of the new station was finally started. In the meantime, a temporary station was opened 200 meters from the old station. The problem was that no construction company was prepared to carry out the risky design of UNStudio. The project was divided into two phases: the platform tunnel (so that the temporary station could be closed afterwards) and then the terminal itself. The terminal itself was started in 2010, while it should have been ready in 2009. After very long years, Arnhem station was festively opened in 2015. It has a capacity of 110,000 train and bus travelers per day.
Van Berkel and Bos Architectenbureau was founded in 1988 by founders Ben Van Berkel and Caroline Bos. Ten years later it was named UNStudio, an abbreviation for United Network. The agency wants to emphasize that it is a network of architects and urban planners. One of their best known designs is the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam. Ben Van Berkel first studied as a graphic designer, but after visiting Japan, he has changed direction and he has never complained.
Arnhem station is not just a train station, but rather a hub. There are offices, shops, apartments, a new station hall, a car tunnel, bicycle parking and a large parking garage. Everything is under one big roof with a view of the city and as a new icon in the city.
There is one large column in the middle of the station hall. Actually it is not a column, but two Möbius rings put together. Shipbuilders were involved in the construction. Steel was used instead of concrete. Architect Van Berkel calls the central column the twist, while the inhabitants of Arnhel gave it the name wokkel.
Central Station Arnhem
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