Family of Light Railway Stations, province of Utrecht, The Netherlands
TRANSITIONS FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD TO TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
The objective was to design a family of stations for a light railway transportation system in the densely populated metropolitan area in the central part of the Netherlands. The design had to offer easy and quick access to the platforms and incorporate small shops and a bicycle parking area. Furthermore, a high degree of security and social monitoring was required. The design had to express the identity of the railway company and that of the urban network, while at the same preserving the identity of each station within its specific setting. Finally, the shops needed to present themselves distinctively within the space without overpowering the passengers’ perception of the station’s primary function.
After investigating the locations, it was decided to design a prototype (“Anytown”), which consisted of a number of standardized modular components that could be assembled to produce stations for all of the locations.The prototype design comprises an inner and outer wall concept where the walls run parallel to a core space containing the shops. The latter are situated underneath the tracks. The inner walls are the same in all stations and act as a constant visual reference to the transportation system. The outer walls adapt to their surroundings, giving the specific location a unique identity. At the same time, the walls act like filters between the different environments (city, commerce, transport) without actually separating them. So they highlight the transition from one environment to the other. Because of the transparency of the design, the passengers are always visually connected, which results in a strong feeling of security and social monitoring.
The prototype has been implemented at five concrete locations: Leidsche Rijn West, Leidsche Rijn Centraal, Utrecht Majella, Utrecht Noordse Park and Amersfoort Koppelpoort.