Rotterdam Centraal winner of Daylight Award 2014
The Living Daylight Foundation has awarded its fourth ‘Daylight Award‘ at the Light Congress 2014, which took place at the World Forum, The Hague on 22nd September. This year’s jury of the Daylight Award is led by chairman Koen van Velsen and includes two former Daylight Award winners, Francesco Veenstra from Mecanoo Architects and Lars Courage, from Courage Architects.
All entries were discussed and evaluated during an extensive jury excursion on 16th June. Attention was given to the function of the projects and optimization of natural daylight as a resource being used in relation to the architecture and its combination with artificial lighting. Nominations in the category of non-residential buildings include Rotterdam Centraal Station, Educational Centre Erasmus MC, Erasmus Pavilion, The New Rijksmuseum and the Gymnasium Nieuw Welgelegen.
The new Rotterdam Centraal by Team CS, the design result of a collaboration of Benthem Crouwel Architects, MVSA Meyer, van Schooten Architects and West 8, was announced the winner of the Daylight Award 2014 during the ceremony.
Rotterdam Centraal is a project not everyone will immediately associate with natural daylight. Nevertheless daylight plays a major role throughout the whole complex and rather, it has been the project’s leitmotif. The presence of daylight is more prominent in one place than the other, and even though discreet in places, its use throughout is self evident. The jury particularly liked the sequence of spaces consisting of the three main sections of the station: the entrance hall, the transit passages and the platform roof, each with its own form of special daylight ambience.
Daylight in the whole design
“The huge entrance captures daylight through its transparent facade and its tall roof overhang and likewise, daylight shines in from the two sides where the thoroughfares to the bus and tram stations are located. Overhead the large skylights are unobtrusive and even difficult to distinguish because of the subtle interplay with artificial lighting, integrated into the rectangular skylight slots. Daylight enters the lower transfer passage, through the station platform roof, and via the huge stairwells voids. The varied solar cell patterns placed on the glass roof panels, temper and moderate the levels of light penetration, which in turn results in an ever-changing and fascinating play of shadows on the platforms, ” the jury comments about this award winner.
Daylight as a guide for travellers
Daylight also plays a significant role in the energy-consumption of this project: Daylight provides for daytime lighting needs and the solar cells on the roof play a significant environmental role: the solar cells achieve a 8% reduction of the station’s overall CO² emissions. Rotterdam Centraal also scores highest on the award criterion ‘Location’ and ‘Usage’. “Travellers look in many directions throughout the station and can orientate themselves just fine. The daylight accompanies them in all their movements, and literally help guide them in, out and through the building. From the previously utterly cluttered and often dingy situation, the station is transformed into an impressive, clear and highly organised public building of international stature. In this intensely organised urban setting, it makes you feels safe everywhere you go whilst offering a praiseworthy entrance to the city, the region and the Netherlands.” the jury said.
image by ©Jannes Linders
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Chiswick Park in London (UK) and Expo \’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and West Kowloon Cultural District Park in Hong Kong (HKSAR).
Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.