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Alsop Architects mobilizes in Rotterdam

Alsop Architects has unveiled its £1.6 billion 20ha masterplan for the redevelopment of Rotterdam Central Railway Station and its surroundings. Working with private sector partners Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Rodamco Nederland and ING Vastgoed, the city of Rotterdam commissioned the masterplan in a bid to capitalize on the opportunity afforded by its inclusion in the European City Network of high-speed trains, which will take effect in 2006. Following an international competition Alsop Architects was appointed in April 2000.

The focus of the masterplan is the 'Mobility Hub', an integrated transport interchange which includes an expanded railway terminal, an upgraded Metro and RandstadRail terminal, a new train and bus station, a bicycle park and parking for 1,500 cars. A high-level 'balcony', designed as a 30,000m 2elevated crystalline monocoque structure, floats above the Mobility Hub providing new civic/entertainment space with links to the city's cultural quarter. The regeneration of the surrounding area includes the provision of 310,000m 2of new office space,195,000m A roof composed of an abstract pattern of coloured glass brings natural light in and provides passengers with multicoloured upward views (left). The masterplan re-establishes links with the historic and social heart of the city, and extends the cultural axis from the transport interchange to the city centre (below) housing plus 110,000m 2of retail and urban entertainment.

The masterplan marks the culmination of 12 months of collaboration between the architect, the commissioning consortium, the Rotterdam Centraal Project Bureau, the planning department and local community groups. Having been presented in Rotterdam this week the masterplan is now subject to a public consultation period. The city council is expected to approve the plan this autumn. See ajplus for more pictures.

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