400 assignments - designing station areas

400 assignments - designing station areas
The Netherlands
Year design

The Netherlands is a dynamic country with about 400 stations. Every day train, metro, tram, bus, taxi and bike are available for people to travel in large numbers. The range of different stations is wide, from urban nodes to rural stops. The direct surrounding, the station area, features the important transfer facilities. On larger stations additional features are available. They make the life of both travellers and local residents and 'local workers' more pleasant. 

What is the public value of the station area for the city or town in which it is located? What options are there for the future? How do these station areas look like, how are they experienced and how would they have to be furnished?

‘400 assignments’ is a proposal of Blom&Moors in cooperation with Ontwerplab (spatial analyses) and Claudia de Boer (photography) to work on station areas as an integral assignment, on the basis of analyses, drawings, photographs and essays. This proposal also is an invitation to public debate and reflection. We want to contribute by describing and depicting the assignment and give substantial attention to the interest of the public quality.

Public quality
Designing on station area is designing on meetings in the public domain. Public quality arises where people gather, where there is room for contemplation and confrontation, where unexpected events can take place and where new activities can find a place. 400 station surroundings, each with its own challenge.

Increasing the openness of the station area is next to a spatial and programmatic task, also a cultural task. Therefore the users experience is central in our research proposal. It was not until now that the station area is researched, described and imagined from both the perspective of the passenger as well as from the perspective of the local residents and 'local workers'. By interweaving activities of all users, more involvement on these places will be created. Places that now often are experienced as volatile.