Architecture Monday

I love train travel. I love adaptive reuse. A project that combines them both? Double love!

The need and desire: to make many unmanned and otherwise unremarkable train stops in the Netherlands both safer and more pleasant spots from which to catch a train. Without, as is common, breaking the bank. The design put forward: use that other ubiquitous transportation device, the leftover shipping container, to create something visually striking and with tightly integrated amenities.

The result: Combine the shipping containers like a series of toy blocks into a straightforward and recognizable form that is striking even from a distance. The containers at the ground level are mostly deconstructed down to structure to house the amenities. Painted white, they contrast strongly with the other, solid, containers painted black. Finished by white lettering, they all go together to make the whole station look sleek and proper.

A waiting room and flower & coffee shop sit nicely within glassed-in areas at opposite ends of the station. The use of frameless glass makes them look almost the same as the centre box, which is left open for the ticket vending machine. Besides being a marker of place – and a clock tower – the tall container is also perhaps one of the most striking bathroom experiences ever. Inside, the room extends up some 40’ to a skylight!

Great little project that takes some otherwise leftover bits and, with some strong design, turns them into a totally legit train station where you can sit protected, grab a coffee, and hopefully not daydream on that toilet, getting so lost in the clouds overhead that you miss your train.

Barneveld Noord by NL Architects

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