What Mecanoo wanted to do with their design for the new Delft train station was to make it clear to visitors that they have arrived in Delft. The stunning new train station sits on top of a new train tunnel which replaced the old concrete viaduct that had divided the city in two since 1965.
They also wanted to building to reflect Delft’s cultural heritage and forward-looking vision. The train station successfully combines Delft’s history with its future. The sleek contemporary design blends with the historic buildings around it, and inside is a showcase of their famous export, Delftware ceramics, as well as a reflection of the fact that the city is at the forefront of technical innovation.
Upon entering the station hall, visitors will be met with a vaulted ceiling with an enormous 1877 map of Delft. The walls and columns are clad with a contemporary re-interpretation of Delft Blue tiles. The station hall is a part of the first phase of the development of the station and municipal office. Once the original railway viaduct is demolished in 2017 and the city hall and municipal offices are completed, the entire complex will be open to the public.
Francine Houben, Mecanoo’s creative director says: “Coming up the escalators, the impressive ceiling with the historic map of Delft unfolds. When you look outside, you see the city and the old station as a modern ‘View of Delft’ by the painter Johannes Vermeer. Arriving in Delft is now an unforgettable experience!”
The glass exterior of the building is designed to reflect the Dutch skies. The panels of fused glass with lens-like spheres reference a vernacular window design that can be seen throughout the historic city. The combination of open panels of high performance glass and closed fused glass panels give contribute to high energy efficiency.
The result is a compact, yet highly efficient building that makes a big visual impact with a cultural message for travellers going through the station.
Francine Houben talks about the design: youtu.be/24X7OKtBRw0
By Kerry Boettcher