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UN Studio’s £27.6m Arnhem station opens

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UN Studio’s new terminal at Arnhem Central Station in the Netherlands has finally opened to the public

The £27.6 million station is the result of a 20 year project which UN Studio drew up the masterplan for back in 1996.

According to the practice, this new transport hub rewrites the ‘rulebook on train stations’.

Backed by the Dutch government, the new 21,750m2 terminal includes shops, a conference centre, and links to a nearby office plaza, the city centre and an underground parking garage.

The station building features a dramatic twisting structural roof geometry, which enables column-free spans of up to 60m in the transfer hall.

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The architect’s view

Taking references from the continuous inside/outside surface of a Klein Bottle, we aimed to blur distinctions between the inside and outside of the terminal by continuing the urban landscape into the interior of the transfer hall, where ceilings, walls and floors all seamlessly transition into one another. The structure of the roof and twisting column was only made possible by abandoning traditional construction methods and materials; much lighter steel replaced concrete – originally intended for the station – and was constructed using boat building techniques on a scale never before attempted.

We began the masterplan in 1996 and completed its first sketch design for the Transfer Terminal back in 2000. After intensively researching passenger flows and transportation modes, we proposed that the new terminal should expand to become a ‘transfer machine’ that incorporates the whole spectrum of public transport, meeting the travel demands of the 21st century. Working with structural engineers Arup, a space without columns was produced, forming an architectural expression designed around the ways people will intuitively use the space. The station works on international, national and regional levels, allowing passengers to move between cities intuitively and with ease. This project is part of a countrywide railway upgrade that will see new stations in Rotterdam, Delft, The Hague, Breda and Utrecht. 

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Project data

Location Stationsplein, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Type of project infrastructure
Architect UN Studio
Client ProRail B.V.
Area 21,750m2
Site area 11,250m2
Completed opening in November 2015
Cost £27.6 million

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