The railway station area in Tilburg was characterized by a number of important and related weaknesses. For instance, it was hard for people to get their bearings and also because of the traffic layout and the parking facilities for cars, taxi’s and bicycles, the spatial relationship between city and station was troublesome. Moreover, the plinth of the station had become untidy, while there was hardly any connection between the city side and the north side of the building. Also, the westward positioned bus station had become too small and was unsafe because of a poor organization and crossing routes for driving and walking.
Within the framework of an invited competition, cepezed designed a renewal plan that was well received, in particular because of the balanced combination of spatial, architectural, logistic and commercial merits. In addition, the jury especially admired cepezed’s outlook on the process and the collaboration with the parties involved, including the city council, the Spoorzone quality team, Bureau Spoorbouwmeester, ProRail and Dutch Railways. Also, the interventions fit in well with the boulevard concept the city council wishes to introduce. They are based on a clear and inviting organization, as well as on a careful, modest design, materialization and detailing.
For the processing of the increasing number of travelers, a fully new tunnel weighing no less than 6.6 million kilograms was inserted beneath the railway tracks and platforms. This contains the accesses towards the trains as well as booths and shops while additionally, it functions as an inter-district connection linking the city to the former NS-grounds on the north side, which is also being redeveloped at the moment. Cluttering additions to the station from over fifty years of usage were removed. Combined with modernizing renovation works, the firmness and clarity of the original design by Koen van der Gaast (1923-1993) were fully restored. While doing so, the spectacular roof construction was fully preserved.
Outside, the car traffic and parking facilities were cut back and for bicycles, both sides of the station will be fitted with large-scale shelters that seamlessly blend in with the renewed, more spacious urban setting. For the busses, a new self-sufficient bus station is realized. This has an unambiguous traffic flow and offers travelers a covered waiting area within a green environment. Trees and plants also considerably heighten the sojourn quality of the overall public domain surrounding the railway station.
Finally, cepezed is also working on an expansion of the station in the form of a fourth roofed platform. This will be realized on the north side, must be operational in 2023 and will accommodate the increasing number of travellers on the Breda – Eindhoven route.