The city of Brno has announced the team of Benthem Crouwel Architects + West 8 urban design and landscape architecture as the winners of an international architecture competition to jointly design the new multimodal hub of Brno, urban realm and adjacent station quarter. Together, these Dutch firms are known for the acclaimed Rotterdam Central station. Benthem Crouwel has designed transit hubs such as the Amsterdam Central station and metro, 4 metro stations in Paris, and the Silicon Valley Diridon station masterplan. West 8’s experience includes Madrid RIO, Schiphol Airport, Governors Island in New York, and the Toronto Waterfront.
The team was selected out of 46 applications, with twelve design teams including renowned offices like BIG, Diller Scofidio Renfro, OMA, Snøhetta and Ingenhoven selected to participate. It was the largest architectural competition in the history of the Czech Republic. The jury emphasized that the winning design combines a reference to historic public buildings with a modern intermodal hub and a high quality public space.
The station is the catalyst for the city of Brno’s desire to physically and mentally develop the new district as an integral part of the city. The winning scheme is a comprehensive solution for a multimodal transport hub including 14 platforms for highspeed and local trains, tram- and city buses, a regional bus station including 40 stops, a metro station, a bicycle and car parking. The station building offers comfortable passenger services, facilities and has ample retail and F&B areas. The design further includes an urban development with offices, housing, hotel and high quality public space including a waterfront park and urban promenade. With a construction budget of 1,8 billion euros, the expected completion of the station is between 2032 and 2035.
“The station represents a marvellous opportunity to create a new and vibrant district in Brno. The simple and elegant design of Brno’s new railway station will be the catalyst and new heart of the new city. Tree-lined boulevards connect the station with the City centre and the Cathedral with the Svratka River Park”
Martin Biewinga, partner of West 8
PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST
Creating a barrier free district, the design both weaves and embeds pedestrian routes into the urban fabric and concentrates them through high quality passages in the railway body.
The urban layout of the station district allows for an optimal layout for all modes of transportation. By putting people first, all traffic modes are safely untangled.
“The new Brno main station is both grand and human, monumental and tangible. Our design combines a straightforward, yet very comfortable platform canopy with a sensual station building.”
Pascal Cornips, partner of Benthem Crouwel Architects.
CONNECTED TO THE CITY
From the platform, a first glimpse of Brno’s cathedral is offered through the monumental arches of the station building. This composition provides a quiet backdrop in the direction of the tracks, but opens up towards the city to allow unobstructed views towards the skyline. Passengers are guided through the central concourse, articulated by the rhythm of voids for access to the platforms, towards a pedestrian promenade which leisurely connects the station, waterfront park and new urban development to the city fabric. A generous boulevard aligned with city blocks and workspaces follows the station to the river, where, under the railway bridge, the Svratka waterfront park continues.
“The arched station building is the highlight of a new urban frontage and welcomes the traveller.”
Penne Hangelbroek, Architect, West 8
REFLECTING THE RICH HISTORY OF BRNO
The design was praised by the jury for integrating the cultural heritage of Brno with the implementation of a public welcome hall, a space between the city and train platform. The station hall offers a public interior to the inhabitants of Brno as well as organises and highlights the urban frontage of the new district. The location as a whole is marked by two diagonally positioned towers that situate the new station’s position within Brno’s silhouette.
A NATURAL WAYFINDING
The central concourse, with its access to the train platforms, clearly and intuitively connects to two station halls on either end of the passage. Conceived as two, covered, public squares, they house the connections to metro, bus, parking, retail and passenger services. In these halls, passengers are able to easily encounter and orientate themselves within the station via direct sightlines to the next step in their journey – be it the city or beyond!
“Brno Main Station provides very short and safe transfer links between all modes of transportation. We strongly focused on combining great passenger experience with operational excellence.”
Daniel Jongtien, partner of Benthem Crouwel Architects
AN ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE DESIGN
The design for the elegant, convex glass canopy over the train platforms and bus station not only shelters passengers from rain or harsh sunshine, but simultaneously collects enough solar energy to create a net-positive station. Bio based materials such as Cross Laminated Timber are used in roofing structures and as cladding. At the same time, by significantly reducing the length of the viaducts, the use of reinforced concrete is limited to an absolute minimum to greatly improve the carbon footprint of the station design. The environmentally aware design also integrates nature based rainwater management, the use of (filtered) daylight, natural ventilation, and low temperature floor heating and cooling based on a reversible heat pump connected to a geothermal source.
Brno, Czech Republic
City of Brno
Czech Railway administration
ARCHITECTURE, URBAN DESIGN AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Benthem Crouwel Architects + West 8
Building cost and solar energy concept – Arcadis
Structural engineering – SID studio
Traffic consultancy – Goudappel
Water management – RHDHV
For more information, please contact:
West 8 PR
T +31 10 485 5801
Benthem Crouwel Architects PR
T +31 20 642 01 05