The station at Ede-Wageningen is being upgraded as part of a nationwide programme to prepare the railway infrastructure for an increase in frequency of trains. While this major work is under way, the station needs to stay in operation.

Creating a practical and feasible design without losing the 'wow' factor

Our Building Technology team have been responsible for converting a concept into a practical and feasible design, while retaining the ‘wow’ factor. Where possible, the team sought to strengthen the impression provided by the complex roof canopy and the fluid space that connects the platforms to the surroundings. Aesthetics, sustainability, accessibility and emotional safety have been important principles underpinning the design.

Key to the stunning visual appearance is the vast wooden roof consisting of 24 triangles, each with sides 27m long. Glazed to let in light, the triangles are suspended on different levels and are visually separate, free from the support columns and from each other. Of course, the roof also needs to be watertight and able to be constructed and maintained without major disruption to the train services. This is where the expertise of our integrated team was vital.

“It was a very integrated design between engineers, architects and railway designers. We had to find the solutions to make the concept a reality.” said Kirsten Colenbrander, Royal HaskoningDHV Architect. “The image of the canopy with the triangles is really strong and fits in with the surroundings, so we wanted to retain that while making something that was practical and feasible.”

A range of climate adaptations have been incorporated

The triangles will be made off site and then lifted in place using cranes to minimise disruption to services. They are also sloped to ensure rainwater runs off into the drainpipes within the columns. The rainwater is collected for use on surrounding flower beds. It will be the first station with retail units to operate without natural gas. Nearly 300 solar panels are situated on the station roof. Other climate adaptations include part-glazing of the roof structure to limit the amount of direct sunlight on the platforms. The light plan and height were designed to avoid disruption to the feeding patterns of a local bat population and special arrangements were made for a unique species of cricket found in the area.

The use of 3D modelling was vital in the design of the station and connected services. This was partly because of the challenge of a significant slope down to the station, which needed to be accessible. Also, the elements are highly interconnected. For example, the foundation for the canopy is incorporated within the bike park. The bike route crosses the top of the bike park and commercial units. With so many functions in a limited space, it was vital to develop the design in an integrated way and to ensure it was feasible.

Integration of technical knowledge, aesthetics and functionality

Another important area of collaboration was with our structural engineers to meet the challenges of the retail units. Each of these occupy a separate level in a stepped arrangement. They all have individual shapes within an overall diamond-shape and must conform to specified sizes. Drainage and ventilation also needed to be integrated within the design.
What was special about this solution was the balance between technical knowledge, aesthetics and functionality. It is a complex building housing many functions in a limited space. We could not have done it without an integrated design and in 3D.

Kirsten Colenbrander

Architect, Royal HaskoningDHV

Project facts

  • Location
    Ede, the Netherlands
  • Challenge
    To prepare the railway infrastructure for an increase in frequency of trains. While this major work is under way, the station needs to stay in operation.
  • Solution
    An integrated design in 3D between engineers, architects and railway designers.