cepezed designs first self-sufficient bus station in The Netherlands

Public transport is great for power conservation, now things have gone a stop further with a self-powered bus station.

Easy on the eye and the council purse architecture, bridge, building, city, infrastructure, metropolitan area, overpass, sky, skyway, transport, urban area, teal
Easy on the eye and the council purse strings – this bus station is all about self-empowerment.

Designed by cepezed architects

From the architects:

Recently, the new bus station in Tilburg was taken into use. Just like the renovation of the train station and the new bicycle parkings in the railway zone, the bus station was designed by cepezed architects. The new public transport facility generates its own energy and its design is thoroughly integrated.

The new bus station is a part of the large-scale revitalisation of the Tilburg public transport hub. It is fully tailored to the comfort of the travellers and to a clear and pleasant traffic flow. The facility is situated on the west side of the train station, roughly at the place that also occupied the former bus station, but with the location of the former Tilburion apartment block included on the far west side.

The ETFE foil of the awning is self-cleaning architecture, building, commercial building, facade, house, real estate, roof, blue, gray
The ETFE foil of the awning is self-cleaning and hardly needs any maintenance.

The basic setup consists of a series of very thin columns with an evenly minimalistic awning structure on top of them. The construction forms a triangular circuit with a length of over 160m and an open space in the centre. The bus positions are arranged around the outer side; six for boarding and one for deboarding. 

The awning circulation runs from 14 to 30m width in total and has two offsets in its contour. These are primarily functional and align with the urban context, but visually, they also resonate elegantly with the monumental roof structure of the train station. This also has an articulated structure and moreover seems to float, just like the bus station awning. 

The setoffs divide the overall structure into three segments. In the centre of every segment, there is green plantation surrounded by a sitting edge for the travellers. 

On the wide end of the circuit, the centre additionally contains a pavilion. This houses a staff canteen for the bus drivers, a public transport service point and a commercial space that has to find its function yet. An elevated terrace adjoins this commercial space.

The awning circulation runs from 14 to 30m architecture, building, bus, ceiling, mode of transport, public transport, transport, vehicle, white, gray
The awning circulation runs from 14 to 30m width in total and has two offsets in its contour.

Integral materialization and detailing

Based on considerations regarding aesthetics as well as comfort, functionality and the use of materials, a lot of attention was paid to a setup, materialisation and detailing that is as elementary as possible. Cepezed conceived a clear and pure system for the bus station and engineered it meticulously. For example, the thin columns composed of steel plates and strips also contain water drainage and electric cabling. 

The S.O.S.-button and intercom are also integrated into one of the columns, while the folded sheet steel that functions as the central load-bearing stability beam also functions as a gutter. 

The lighting of the terrace adjoining the pavilion is integrated into the beams spanning the awning structure at that point. The sitting edges of black pigmented concrete contain a number of seats executed in strip steel with integrated heating. 

The drainage holes in the load-bearing gutter are also used for fixation of the stretched ETFE-foil, while the digital information displays are invisibly fastened. 

The pavilion has a function in the overall stability of the awning. Also, movement sensors have been integrated into the steel edge of the awning every 14 meters. These respond to the presence of busses and people so that the lighting is sufficient in every situation while the use of energy is kept to a minimum.

Inclusive, low maintenance and future proof

The bus station was also designed for inclusiveness. For example, the elevated terrace can be reached by wheel chairs through a ramp and the handrails between the terrace and the platforms have been provided with braille signing. The ETFE foil of the awning is self-cleaning and hardly needs any maintenance. For service on the solar panels and electrical equipment, the awning circulation is easily accessible via the pavilion and a walkable cable gutter. 

The overall unornamented design with a minimum of edges and corners reduces the costs for cleaning. Additionally, for the future, the bus station is already prepared for the placement of extra electrical equipment that can quickly charge electrical busses. 

Credit list

Consultant mechanical & electrical engineering:
Nelissen Ingenieursbureau b.v., Eindhoven
Landscape architect/urban planner:
Atelier Quadrat, Rotterdam
Main contractor:
BAM Infra bv, Gouda
Contractor installations:
Hoppenbouwers Techniek, Udenhout
Structural engineering:
IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs, Rotterdam
Consultant building physics, fire safety and Sustainability:
Nelissen Ingenieursbureau b.v., Eindhoven
Atelier LEK, Rotterdam
Contractor steel construction:
Buiting Staalbouw, Almelo
Etfe roof:
Buitink - Technology, Duiven

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Lucas van der Wee

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