The Forum Utrecht, NL
With the comprehensive transformation of the Utrecht Station Area in full swing, a new central district will be created. Restructuring both infrastructure and urban layout aims for connecting the east and west side of the tracks in an obstacle-free manner. The physical barrier caused by the railway tracks is literally bridged with the new Station Passage, a pedestrian link through and along the centrally positioned public transport terminal. In addition also the rejuvenated Sijpesteijn-tunnel/route and the planned Rabo-bridge will largely remove these physical obstructions. A raised ground floor (platform) at level with the public transport terminal, will be built both sides of the tracks: the Forum.
GROUP A is responsible for the Westside Urbanplan as well as for the Design of the Forum.
Development of the Utrecht Station Area focuses around the themes 'connecting' and 'staying'. Within this context the Forum organises and guides the passenger flows from the station to the surrounding destinations, including the adjacent bicycle parking and tram stops. Connections to the existing Beatrixgebouw and Rabobank complex form an integral part of this system.
The Forum also provides the address for over 200,000 m2 of offices, residential, conference, hotel and theater; premises occupied each day by over 8,000 people, and who make use of the surrounding public space. Building plinths are transparent and accommodate public functions, including restaurants and cafes. The resulting urban squares between the buildings are fitted out in a rich and comfortable fashion for optimum pleasure and convenience.
Due to the high building density, the Forum exposes an enclosed character and could be considered being an urban interior. With these qualities the area is becoming a unique public space that matches the scale and ambition for the new Utrecht Central Station.