On an average working day, NS (Dutch National Railways) takes 1.2 million passengers to their destinations. That number is increasing every year. NS has therefore joined forces with Mecanoo architecten and Gispen furniture designers to tackle the challenge of increasing the passenger capacity of tomorrow's trains. At the same time, they aim to make the journey more enjoyable, so that passengers can reclaim their travel time as their own time: for relaxing, working, studying or meeting each other.
Mecanoo at Dutch Design Week
During Dutch Design Week, from 20 to 28 October 2018 in Eindhoven, the result of this collaboration is showcased at Ketelhuisplein, including a full-scale model of the train of tomorrow and a 3D experience at the Virtual Experience Lab. Francine Houben and other Mecanoos will take part in ‘Meet the Expert’ sessions during this week.
‘Meet the Expert’
Location: Ketelhuisplein, time: 2-4pm
- Sunday 21 October: Francine Houben will explain the design concept followed by a Q&A session with the public.
- Tuesday 23 October: Joost van der Made from NS, Sarah Schiffer from Gispen and Lyanne Oosterhof from Mecanoo.
- Saturday 27 October: Joost van der Made from NS, Sarah Schiffer from Gispen and Maxe van Heeswijk from Mecanoo.
Travel time is your own time
Prior to the design, Mecanoo, Gispen and NS examined train passengers’ needs and listed them in categories of activities: concentration such as working and studying, relaxing such as reading, watching a film or playing a game, and social activities such as phoning and chatting with fellow travelers. These categories where translated into twelve flexible interior modules.
Arne Lijbers, associate architect at Mecanoo: “The train of the future will be a dynamic, open environment that permits all kinds of passenger activities. The train isn’t just a tube that you travel in from point A to point B. It’s a comfortable place to spend time where you feel at home and where a variety of activities are possible.”
The modules fit into the trains like building blocks and are suitable for any type of train. Sarah Schiffer, Product and Concept Designer at Gispen: “They can be combined in a single train coach so that every passenger has more room at peak times and can find a suitable place outside peak hours. Designing these elements in a modular and ‘circular’ way – recyclable – means this concept is timeless and can be used in any kind of train.”
Designing and fitting out public spaces such as museums, libraries, schools and offices is everyday business for both Gispen and Mecanoo. Their experience is combined with NS’s expertise in this innovative train concept that makes travelling an entirely new experience.
“Train stations are not only business cards for the Netherlands through which huge flows of people pass every day, but they are also public spaces that have to be laid out with great care. The train journey deserves that same level of care and attention – it should be designed as a public space where you would like to stay, as an activity-related space that interacts with the sensory perceptions.” - Francine Houben, Creative Director at Mecanoo.
Get to know the full programme of DDW - Dutch Design Week 2018
Images by Maaike Poelen.