Assen Station

Gateway to the City

Adding a touch of magic to a mundane city site, our triangular wooden roof seems to hover above the new Assen Station. Together with De Zwarte Hond, we transformed the station with this extraordinary wooden structure. The new building now connects the railway line and the city with a single urban gesture. Outside, a new car tunnel has enabled a traffic-calmed public space.After completion, Assen Station has received recognition by Prix de Versailles, BNA, Drentse Architecture Prize, and ArchDaily.

Time span2014 - 2020
Size5 000 m²
LocationAssen, NL
TypePublic Spaces, Recognitions, Sustainability
NS, Prorail & Municipality of Assen
Partners in charge
Stefan Prins, Jeroen de Willigen (DZH)
Partner in charge
Project lead
Erik Roerdink (DZH)
Project team
Max Tala Nossin
Julius Kirchert
Jeffrey Ouwens
Yoon Kyun (Peter) Lee
Paul Rikken
Katarzina Klepacz
Eric van Keulen (DZH)
Ben van der Meer (DZH)
Tjeerd Jellema (DZH)
Marc Beeftink (DZH)
Chris ten Have (DZH)
Martijn Korendijk (DZH)
Freddy Siekmans (DZH)
Martine Drijftholt (DZH)
Kris Schaasberg (DZH)
Richard Vrijland (DZH)
Structural engineer
Building physics
Mobility consultant
Structural engineer wood
Installations advisor

The eternal triangle

The station roof curves at the level of the tracks.

The eternal triangle

Assen Station was originally a transit station where the city remained invisible to travelers. The municipality of Assen asked us, and our partner De Zwarte Hond, to create a new, transparent and inviting station, which would also remove the barrier that the tracks imposed on the neighborhood. Our new station is an all-sided building – connective, transparent and sustainable – that is equally inviting from every angle. The striking triangular geometry of the roof gives the building a strong identity, organizes the program and makes a strong connection with the urban context.

We created an elegant, almost floating structure that responds on all sides to its context.

Connective geometry

Reaching out to the city
A bridge to public space
01 - 02

Connecting all modalities

Site plan

Ground floor

Dive into the details
Dive into the details
Making the Cool Stuff
Nanne de Ru and Gilbert van der Lee

The beauty of wood

The beauty of wood

In what is a first for the Netherlands, we bridged the trains tracks entirely in wood. The choice of wood for the 3,000 m² triangular roof is not only sustainable; it also fits the green character of the city of Assen and its surroundings. The wooden canopy creates a warm, inviting atmosphere for travelers. Openings in the inner section of the roof allow sunlight to dapple the platforms and the station hall. Standing 10 meters high, it the roof has three uneven sides 78, 88 and 90 meters long. A green sedum roof surface has been added along the edges for buffering rainwater. By constructing the roof with freestanding columns, the program beneath can be adapted. This sustainable design thus provides for future changes in passenger numbers and commercial facilities in the pavilions.

The strength of the design lies in the strongly connective form.

Like a forest canopy

Brick volumes shelter beneath the roof
Sunlight dapples the platform
Columns support the span
01 - 03

The roof construction

A new public plaza

The newly simplified approach to the station
The newly simplified approach to the station

A new public plaza

Under the wooden roof construction, detached buildings offer space for the commercial and station-related functions. A logical organization of the functions results in an open and accessible station. The buildings have brick facades with rounded corners. The purple-red toned facing bricks match the red carpet of brick pavers and the red porphyry of the station floor. Our station functions as a public plaza marking the beginning of the main route towards the city center. Outside, a new car tunnel has created pedestrian-friendly station area with greenery, minimal impact from cars and a pleasantly human scale.

Public faces

New pedestrian access stairs and tunnel
The traffic-calmed square outside the station
01 - 02

The new station is an open, all-sided building which improves access in all directions.

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