Utrecht Central Station is the largest and busiest train station in the Netherlands. Stations are key infrastructural assets for cities. In recent year, city strategies to provide high speed connections that are more efficiency and allow for greater capacity of flow resulted in Station projects. Six central stations in the Netherlands - Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam, Arnhem, Breda and Amsterdam South - are called the New Key Projects since 1997: the projects where not only focused on upgrading the train stations but also the surrounding urbanity around the station. This integrated approach to station and station environment reinforces the identity and vitality of the city as they become iconic and functional gateways.
During the Spring Semester 2020, we will explore opportunities around the Utrecht Central Station to promote and complement the station project with architectural intervention that enhance the city’s vision. The emerging projects will encourage a dialogue between the historical city and the station area.
Through group work students have looked at the existing conditions of the site and its relation to the city. Here the city was understood as layers of information that together revealed drawing and mapping qualities, which fed into the students’ own design narratives. By analysing both tangible and intangible conditions, each student developed their own brief to target specific design challenges of inserting new developments within the existing urban fabric.
An ongoing dialogue between two- and three-dimensional representation revealed unpredictable qualities to inspire their design narratives. Students were invited to explore their own aesthetic style. Design proposals were be multi-scalar in scope, enabling architectural propositions to respond to a larger narrative relating to the aesthetic, programmatic and socio-economic capacities of the city and its infrastructure.
Nawal El Katoul Al Rahbani
Pak Yin Cheung
Lula Shao Chou
Cynthia Maria Deeb
Zahra Hany Elhanbaly
Leah Rose Mary Rassie
Chin Ching Siu
Gabrielle Lynn Utomo
Marie-Isabel de Monseignat-Lavrov