Ahead of the Curve
The 36,000-square-foot railway station transfer hall is the centerpiece of the Arnhem Master Plan, a large urban plan development composed of office space, shops, housing units and other structures in the Netherlands. The transfer hall includes ticket sales and waiting areas for trains, taxis and buses, as well as retail shops and restaurants. The organic design created by UNStudio consists of a series of flowing curves. The original plan was to build the structure from concrete, but when the complex curves made concrete infeasible, designers turned to steel. Instead of using traditional steel construction with a load-bearing truss, the design and engineering team decided to use a method pioneered in the shipbuilding industry: a curved steel-plate interior with an attached web of frames for the load-bearing structure. The steel structure was divided into 150 smaller blocks. These building blocks were built at construction yards and assembled on-site.
Central Industry Group (CIG), a company that got its start in the shipbuilding industry but now also serves the architectural market, was selected to build the unique structure.
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