Home Architechture Dietmar feichtinger unites ostend railway station with giant roof canopy

Dietmar feichtinger unites ostend railway station with giant roof canopy

by Debra B. Guffey

dietmar feichtinger architectes has completed the renovation and revitalization of a major railway station in ostend, a city on the belgian coast. over recent decades, with more and more passengers using the terminus on a daily basis, an increased number of buildings and parking lots were constructed. however, this led to a confusing mix of facilities that were difficult to navigate. in order to unify the site — and its train, tram, bus, and even boat connections — local authorities launched a competition that called for proposals to overhaul the station.

the centerpiece of the design by dietmar feichtinger architectes is a giant roof that is both light and transparent. the role of the canopy is not just to shelter, but also to unite the site and ensure that travelers are able to intuitively navigate their way through the station. all functions are naturally integrated under the roof, with the stairs, elevators, and a footbridge suspended from it. signage and billboards are also integrated within the roof, freeing floor space for circulation.

the canopy comprises polycarbonate panels, which have been placed on the supporting steel structure as ‘colorful scales’. ‘there are many variations of light under the roof, depending on the exterior brightness and the color scheme,’ explain the architects. ‘this specificity contributes to the identity of the place. the coloring of the polycarbonate also provides sun protection and avoids direct glare.’

all interior spaces are naturally lit, with the structure offering unobstructed views of the adjacent marina. meanwhile, bicycle parking has been placed underground with a series of round atriums overlooking the space between the platforms and the station building. elsewhere, the new tram station has been moved closer to the railway station, while a multi-storey car park has been built parallel to the train platforms. see other projects by dietmar feichtinger architectes on designboom here.

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