Assen Station


In 2014 Powerhouse Company won the competition to redesign the railway station in Assen, a city in the north-eastern part of the Netherlands. The brief asked for a design that would utilise the potential of Assen in the so-called Royal Axis, a regional economic development zone between Groningen and Assen.


Inviting, recognisable and accessible

A new gateway into Assen

To meet the competition requirements for an inviting, recognisable and accessible station, our winning design proposes three main aims: to create a striking and welcoming arrival; to restore lost connections between the eastern and western sides of the railway; and to provide a modern and flexible transport hub with a strong architectural identity.


The triangular canopy

The open concourse on the ground floor

A new identity

The triangular canopy

The building is marked by a vast triangular canopy that unites the different services and operations of the station while bridging, literally and metaphorically, the urban boundary of the tracks. Each of the three corners marks a different entrance to the building. Its simple triangular geometry lends the design a strong and recognisable identity, and coherently organises the programme and the connection to the urban context.


The station as a public plaza

Organising the programme

To free up ground floor space for the station programme, we relocated the bicycle parking underground. Under the roof, a series of brick pavilions houses retail, technical services and the drivers’ staff room, framing a concourse that flows seamlessly from inside to outside. A careful organisation of the travellers’ domains and retail areas results in a open and accessible ground floor. Resembling a public plaza, the station functions as a ‘red carpet’ that leads to the city centre of Assen.


Bridging East and West

Reconnecting the city

Spanning both sides of the tracks, the building plays a key role in uniting the eastern and western parts of the city. In line with its main function as a transit hub, the new station provides a convenient, safe and attractive underpass for pedestrians and cyclists to easily cross the city. The new traffic flow enables better connection for residents to all parts of Assen.

Crafting the roof

The timber lattice structure

Constructed as a laminated timber lattice structure, the canopy forms the eye-catcher of the design. In close collaboration with structural engineers Ingenieurbüro Miebach and Gilbert van der Lee, we designed an undulating roof structure that can accommodate the height differences needed for passing trains in correspondence with the tracks. A central section of skylights floods the main hall and pavilions with daylight, and large openings at the entrance draw light into the underground parking and tunnel. The outer edge of the roof canopy is clad with sedum, which helps reduce heat loads and creates a green, visual connection with the city centre.


Reference for the pillar—Palazzo del Lavoro, Pier Luigi Nervi, 1961

  • Time span
    2014 –
  • Type
  • Status
    Under construction
  • Client
    NS, Prorail & Municipality of Assen
  • Location
    Assen, the Netherlands
  • Size
  • Budget
  • Partner in charge
    Nanne de Ru, Stefan Prins
  • Project leader
    Stefan Prins
  • Team
    Nanne de Ru, Stefan Prins, Dik Houben, Erwin van Strien, Max Tala Nossin, Yoon Kyun (Peter) Lee, Joppe Kusters, Julius Kirchert, Paul Rikken, Katarzina Klepacz, Jeffrey Ouwens, Alex Niemantsverdriet, Helena Tse, Luca Piattelli, Máté Molnár, Mike Hansen, Paul Rikken, Ryanne Janssen, Ben van der Meer (dZH), Freddy Siekmans (dZH), Martine Drijftholt (dZH), Kris Schaasberg (dZH), Richard Vrijland (dZH), Martijn Korendijk (dZH)
  • Collaboration
    De Zwarte Hond
  • Structural engineering
    Breed ID
  • Installation engineering
    Adviesbureau VanderWeele
  • Contractor
  • Structural engineering timber construction
    Ingenieurbüro Miebach
  • Civil engineer
    Invra Plus