Preferred bidder and design of Groningen station announced
Strukton Civiel has been designated as the preferred bidder for the major renovations and alterations of and around Groningen station.
The Strukton Civiel team comprises several parties including Koen van Velsen architecten, RoyalHaskoningDHV, Robert Jan Vos, TAK Restoration Architects and artist Gabriel Lester. Aside from price, their bid scored best on criteria such as design, sustainability, limiting any inconvenience and consistency with the station's historic elements. The design, produced by Koen van Velsen architecten, uses sustainable, robust and reusable materials. Trees and landscaping are also given a prominent place. The historic vault heads and the signal house will be kept and will once again be given prominence. The new railway platform roofs are inspired by the existing roofs and art will be given an important place in the pedestrian passage. In short, old and new become a cohesive whole in this design.
Groningen station alterations
The plan includes various elements, including a larger bus station, more and longer platforms, 8,000 bicycle parking places, a bicycle tunnel and a wide pedestrian passage that connects the city's north and south sides, and an extension of the railway tracks. The objective of the alterations is to enable passengers to reach their destination in even greater comfort, faster and easier in the future.
''We are happy that we have completed another step in the realisation of the Groningen Spoorzone project''
‘The appointment of a preferred bidder is a good and important step in the project. The design, which now provides a good impression of the station's future appearance, will be worked out in further detail over the coming months. During this process we will continuously check to confirm that the design continues to respect the specified requirements. We expect that by the end of October we will know whether we can grant Strukton Civiel final contract award. Over the coming months we will be working with all parties to achieve this milestone, so that work on the station can start in 2020,’ says Dorothé Wennekendonk, Regional Director at ProRail.
Because of the economy's growth and the increased demand in the construction industry this has generated, the cost of major project tenders regularly turn out higher than estimated beforehand. This is the case for this project as well. A budget increase of €26 million is required to implement all components of the Groningen Spoorzone (Railway Zone) project. Because the project is of such importance to the region's accessibility, the parties over the coming period will be working together to come up with a solution to make up for this budget shortfall.
A boost for accessibility
Member of the Provincial Executive, Fleur Gräper-van Koolwijk, had this to say: ‘We are happy that we have completed another step in the realisation of the Groningen Spoorzone project. This project is of major importance to the continued development of the public transportation network in the northern Netherlands, with Groningen as a key train and bus hub. Furthermore, these plans are extremely beneficial for cyclists and pedestrians as well. This will give accessibility in our region a tremendous boost.’
Important for the City
The design produced by Koen van Velsen architecten uses the fact that Groningen already has a beautiful station building as its starting point and is inspired by it. Alderman Roeland van der Schaaf of the municipality of Groningen is enthusiastic: ‘Our beautiful Main Station will become even more beautiful and functional in the near future. It will enable residents in the southern part of the city of Groningen to reach the inner city by passing below the station and the station will also be given a fully fledged southern entrance. Furthermore, our historic signal station will be given a prominent place and in the near future there will be plenty of room for cyclists, which is totally fitting for Groningen as a cycling-friendly city.’
The alignment with existing station elements was a key criterion in the evaluations of the tenders. Joost van der Bijl, Regional Director Dutch National Railways (NS): ‘We are happy to see that the design provides light, air and space, and that there will be plenty of bicycle parking space, fitting within this beautiful historic environment. It is a major step forward for travellers.’
Groningen Spoorzone - important for accessibility to city and region
The alterations to the Groningen Main Station form part of the Groningen Spoorzone project, which in turn forms part of the North Netherlands Railway Plan. The plan will significantly increase train travel possibilities in the northern Netherlands and will create faster connections in the region and with the Randstad conurbation. The contract for this station is one of three main contracts within this project.