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What if Lab: The Circular Train Station selects 4 concepts for further development

28 April 2020

Together with ProRail, NS Stations and Bureau Spoorbouwmeester, What if Lab selected four promising concepts for further development in the next phase. All four concepts contribute to the core of the assignment; achieving a fully circular railway in 2050.

Last December, What if Lab called on designers to help think about the circular train station of the future. On Tuesday 14 April, the ten previously selected design studios presented their concepts during a digital meeting. As the level of these concepts was so high, not three, but four designs were eventually selected for further development in the next phase. The following studios will use the upcoming weeks to continue to build on their concepts:

  • Bygg Architecture & Design researched what type of system is best suited to identify local needs at stations and translate them into circular designs. They propose the development of several tools: a joint circular toolkit and a circular festival to start up environmental participation.
  • Scape Agency BV: proposes that "bio-receptive stations" be actively used as CO2 converters in the future. In the project, upcycled concrete cross-beams will be transformed into modular building elements that stimulate the growth of microbial ecosystems. In this way, the railway infrastructure actively contributes to the green and healthy living environment of tomorrow.
  • Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven analysed how nature can function as an ecosystem in the station area and be used in its construction. He has, for example, developed (building) materials from crops and other natural raw materials available in the Netherlands with the aim of replacing the currently unsustainable materials in and around the station.
  • Welling Architects has made a design in which nature and the station reinforce each other so that the natural building materials used can be returned to nature at the end of the life cycle. By using morphology of the landscape, semi-pavement for paths and platforms and a variety of vegetation, the traveller is controlled and distributed over the length of the station by means of an efficient routing.

At the end of May the studios will present their final designs to the commissioning parties and it will become clear which designs we will see at Dutch Design Week 2020. More soon!

What if Lab: The Circular Train Station is a collaboration of What if Lab, ProRail, NS Stations and Bureau Spoorbouwmeester.