Belgium’s Stunning Infrastructure Renovation: Mechelen Train Station – „Mechelen in Beweging“
It is not the first time that Belgium is making headlines with stunning architecture for public infrastructure projects – but the Mechelen train station renovation is certainly one of the best examples. It shows how high end design and modern construction approaches, paired with well thought through infrastructure design, can stand for a boost of revitalization for a whole city.
The design team around Brent Turchak and Steven de Bolle of NMBS – the national railway company of Belgium – were tasked with a project that would bring Mechelens centerpiece of public transport up to speed with the demands of the modern community. What they created is not just a highly efficient domestic transport hub – but also eye candy that will become the architectural landmark of the region.
Smooth Architecture – Big Impact
The futuristic new train station building follows a wavy pattern that smoothly integrates into the landscape, while making people’s heads turn.
Vast, transparent facades, line the exterior of the station building – allowing heaps of natural daylight to enter the hall that covers the train tracks. The 4-meter spanning grid holds the ultra-light Texlon® ETFE cushions. The curved surface of the air-inflated cushions fit the design intent of the long waves of the building perfectly.
In addition, the roof is fitted with custom shaped Texlon® ETFE cushions. The light streets make sure that commuters are enjoying a friendly and light-flooded space while they are sheltered from wind and rain.
Public Infrastructure Engineering
Construction projects for public infrastructure are often a challenge from many angles – especially for railway projects. Vector Foiltec collaborated with all of the stakeholders to find solutions that checked the boxes for common issues like:
- Material certifications
- Approved engineering approaches and software
- Load case scenarios – especially for wind suction and pressure
- Suitable installation and access methodology
- Job safety requirements.
Above all, wind load requirements were a challenge for the wide-span transparent ETFE cushions. Modern approaches to engineering and load distribution calculations, paired with specialized valve systems designed and engineered by Vector Foiltec, made sure that the architectural approach could be executed without compromises.
Contact us for your next public infrastructure construction project.
|Architects||Salvatore Bono & Brent Turchak|
Images Copyright: Mechelen in Beweging