As part of the revitalisation of a key public transport hub in Tilburg, Netherlands, a sleek new bus station has been constructed that offers plenty of modern new facilities for travellers and generates its own electricity. The project hopes to improve travel experiences for the city and demonstrate a sustainable option for public transport.
The new station was designed and constructed by Dutch firm, Cepezed Architects, who also lead the renovations for the transport hub.
The new public transport facility sits on the west side of the train station. Its own power is generated through the 250 m2 of solar panels that have been installed along the awning. The power supplies energy for all aspects of the station, from lighting to digital information signs, a staff canteen and the public transportation service point.
The bus station has been constructed by a series of thin columns with a minimalistic awning that covers them. the station forms a 160-metre triangular circuit with an open space in the centre. the outer side includes six areas for boarding and one for embarking. The bus station’s awning appears to float thanks to the monumental form.
The structure has been constructed in three segments, each containing a greenspace surrounded by a sitting edge in the centre. A pavilion is located on the wide side of the circuit that includes an elevated terrace commercial space, a staff canteen and a public transport service point.
The design of the station is based around integration and includes a lot of attention to the setup and materialisation. The thin columns are composed of steel plates and strips, and contain water drainage and electric cabling in order to be as functional as possible. The emergency help button and intercom is also integrated into the columns.
A folded steel sheet that is the central load-bearing stability beam acts as a gutter and the terrace lighting that connects to the pavilion is integrated into these beams right across the awning structure. The ETFE foil of the awning is self-cleaning and requires very minimal maintenance. the awning circulation is easily accessible for the maintenance of the solar panels and electricals via the pavilion and a cable gutter.
Movement sensors have been integrated at every 14 metres in the awning, which respond to the number of buses and people, ensuring the lighting reflects the needs of the space at the time while keeping the energy usage to a minimum. The station keeps accessibility at the forefront of its design, with easy access offered through a ramp and handrails that include braille signing.
All images by Lucas Van der Wee