Commissioned by the Municipality of Utrecht and NS Stations, GROUP A designed the Westflank Master Plan and the implementation design for the Forum (elevated walking route). The Forum organises and connects passenger flows from the station to the surrounding modalities and destinations, including the adjacent Knoop bicycle parking and tram stop. These destinations also include the connection with the existing Beatrix building and Rabobank complex.
With the majority of people in the city, efficient transit routes are becoming increasingly important. These are rapidly changing from ‘places for movement’ to ‘places to stay’. The west side of Utrecht Central Station has not been considered part of the city centre for a long time. GROUP A translated the municipality’s aim of creating a new urban district of 200,000 m2 and organising passenger flows from the station to surrounding modalities and destinations into a design in which various functions reinforce each other.
The Forum combines connecting routes in a smart way with the possibility for residents and passers-by (8,000 per day) to stay in a pleasant place in the city. With the realisation of an elevated public space, the area has been transformed into an urban interior that connects the public transport terminal directly with all the surrounding destinations. The underlying Knoop bicycle parking facility is located underneath the Forum and offers space for 3,500 bicycles. The square on the roof forms a green residential zone that acts as a city balcony bridging the space between the buildings.
The Knoop bicycle parking is an elongated building over three layers, the bottom layer of the parking facility is below ground level. The storage will be integrated with a parking garage on the West side and a bus station on the Eastern side. On this side, the façade is entirely made of semi-transparent glass. Due to the narrow elongated arrangement and the long glass façade, the parking facility is provided with plenty of daylight and is very well-organized, which contributes to a feeling of comfort and safety.