city station . Assen


The Dutch city of Assen is working towards the urban renewal of its center, and in the process is placing a strong emphasis on the quality of new public spaces and architecture. Infrastructure and transport in the city will be refreshed, and this includes the current station area and outdated station building itself. In addressing the area, the city will follow recent developments in the transport sector, focusing on station districts as a whole, and on creating a user-friendly hub for all kinds of traffic including busses and bicycles. This approach appreciates the role of the station area as an engine or catalyst of regional development, creating a binding element in the urban fabric and a symbolic gateway to the city.

The station area is characterized by trees and adjacent parks, and by the informality of the station plain and the many uses and functions it takes on over the course of the year. The station is a transport hub, and is already relatively pedestrian friendly, but lacks proper organization of different routes for bicycles, cars, taxies, busses, etc. The project aims to reorganize the various flows of traffic around the station area in a coherent way, including the introduction of an underground bicycle park, while also creating a visual connection across the tracks and using the canopy of the station hall as a visual and programmatic anchor for the area so as to result in an architectural ‘family’ of buildings.
The stationhall and its related program take the form of a series of pitched roofs, creating a village-like form which relates to the scale of the surrounding buildings. Each function is given its own volume and identity, while remaining part of a cohesive whole, collected under the single articulated and folded roof. The roof is a simple construction of wooden columns and trusses, creating a canopy which is then glazed to provide a light filled, airy, public space. The building forms a new reception area for the city, with a wide square in front of it, punctuated only by the slope down into the bicycle park. Travelers will notice that the new station is characterized by straightforwardness, openness and a panormaic view of the surroundings. From the main hall there is a view of the train tracks themselves, busses, taxis, trains and the square.

Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs en Nathalie de Vries with Renske van der Stoep, Mick van Gemert, Maria Vasiloglou, Máté Mészáros, Lukasz Brzozowski
Cost Consultant: IGG Bouweconomie
Location : Assen, Netherlands
Year : 2014
Client : Gemeente Assen, Netherlands
Size & Program: 941 m2 station with stationhall, waiting rooms, services spaces, leasable space plus 2600 bicycle parking spaces

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