Roosendaal railway station, a national heritage site, has undergone a radical restoration and renovation by Ruland + Partner Architects on behalf of NS Stations. The architects have restored the original structure and its monumental character while introducing a new layout and up-to-date technology into the historical building in an appropriate manner, ensuring the continued use of this outstanding work of railway and industrial heritage.
The renovation and restoration have added a fresh boost to the station in the city of Roosendaal. The striking building is no longer oriented to the railway tracks only, but now opens generously towards the city, enhancing the public space. What is remarkable about the design by Ruland + Partner Architects is that it restores the original sense of monumentality by revealing what had been concealed for so long.
History Designed by state architect Daniël Knuttel and railway architect George van Heukelom, the railway station in Roosendaal was built in the period 1905-1907. The asymmetrical, elongated building functioned as an important border station for the Dutch railway network, and to this day it forms part of the large complex of railway and shunting yards in Roosendaal. A section of the building, including the original entrance hall, was destroyed beyond repair in 1944, and replaced by additions designed by architect Sybold van Ravesteyn and completed in 1949.
Renovation and revitalization Over the years Roosendaal railway station underwent successive renovations and modifications to meet the evolving needs of users. Owing to all these changes and various alterations to the exterior, the building and surroundings had lost their lustre and coherence. That prompted NS Stations, which operates all railway stations in the Netherlands, to commission Ruland + Partner Architects to carry out a thorough renovation and revitalization operation on the railway station. The original entrances to the station hall from the city and from the platforms have been repaired and restored to their original condition, and improved with present-day technology such as automatic sliding and revolving doors. Additions that detract from the exterior architecture have been removed and remodelled to harmonize with the total facade composition. The original arrangement of windows, doors and frames has been recreated, including the glazing bars in the big arched windows in the former inspection hall. Moreover, the original colour scheme of the entire exterior has been recreated on the basis of historical research: dark-green windows and doors, white frames and various highlights in light yellow and brown tones.
Renewed elegance The design by Ruland + Partner Architects revives the building’s monumental spirit by revealing and restoring its original structure, composition and architectural details. New lay-outs, finishes and installations have been carried out using modern materials and details that reflect the industrial character of the building, ensuring the continued use of this outstanding work of railway and industrial heritage. Both the building and forecourt now exude a ‘renewed elegance’. The character of the railway station reestablishes the original monumental quality of the forecourt, turning it once again into a pleasant urban destination and a fittingly grand and distinctive entrance to Roosendaal.
The Collection The renovation and redevelopment of Roosendaal railway station turned out to be an assignment with a special character. The building features among the ‘Collection’: a selection of the fifty leading stations that represent various periods in the rich history of Dutch station architecture, a list drawn up by the NS (Dutch Railway operator) and ProRail (government agency in charge of national railway infrastructure). Thanks to the building’s status as a state monument, the renovation and restoration received a subsidy for the ‘preservation of industrial heritage’ from the Province of Noord-Brabant. With this contribution from the province, the renovation and redevelopment of the station building could take place in phases over a three-year period.