EFFEKT wins competition to transform industrial waste land into vibrant urban district and infrastructural hub in Roskilde historic city centre
The winning design, including 100.000 m2 of mixed use development and new connections across the railroad tracks, reunite the city and reinvents the station as an integral part of the city center. EFFEKT led the team and collaborated with karres+brands on the design and masterplan, with WTM Engineers, ARUP and ALECTIA developing the engineering solutions.
Roskilde station is the busiest rail hub in Denmark outside of Copenhagen used by more than 10 mio passengers a year. In 2015 Roskilde Municipality invited 7 teams to compete in a two stage competition for the complete redesign and redevelopment of the station area including the formerly leftover land areas along the railroad tracks that since its completion has acted as a barrier dividing the city in two parts.
Reconnecting the city
The solution is a design that re-connects the two parts of Roskilde divided by the railroad lines; The historic UNESCO world heritage center in the North including the Roskilde Cathedral and the more recent areas in the South dominated by industrial developments and contemporary culture such as the Roskilde Festival.
The new Roskilde Station Area will transform the station from a former barrier in the city to a unifying hub – merging urban life with infrastructure to the benefit of local residents, commuters and commercial interests.
“The new Station Area will transform the previous divided city into a new urban destination. It will create a coherent urban experience in Roskilde, inspired by and in respect to both the rich cultural heritage and the cutting edge contemporary culture that Roskilde is known for,” says Sinus Lynge, founding partner at EFFEKT.
“A comfortable seamless transition is crucial to the design of the new station area. For this reason, we have designed the Roskilde passage as a new type of urban landscape, that smoothly flow under the railway tracks and optimally connects all modes of transport. In this way the public space is creates a new relationship between the two parts of the city,” says Bart Brands, principal of karres+brands.
Reinventing the station One of the key elements of the design is the integration of the station into the neighbouring city. This is achieved by EFFEKT wins competition to transform industrial waste land into vibrant urban district and infrastructural hub in Roskilde historic city centre transforming the railroad station into a large urban space. The new Roskilde Station Area will be one of the first examples of a complete integration of station, city and urban space. The design breaks with the traditional understanding of a station as a ticket office and a waiting room. Instead the physical surroundings of the infrastructure will be fully integrated into the urban fabric.
“Where infrastructure often connects on a global and regional level, it also often divides a city in a local level. The new Station Area will be reintegrated as an integral part of the network of streets and public spaces in Roskilde. So many stations have already been transformed into shopping malls and related commercial programme. In Roskilde our aim is to transform the station into a new the city center blurring the lines between the city and the station,” says Sinus Lynge.
“With the design for the new Roskilde Station Area, we demonstrate how the various traffic flows and services can be fully integrated into an existing city center serve as catalyst for growth in urban life, culture and become a social rendevouz point on both a local and regional level,” says Lynge.
The platform as the door step to the city
The integration of city and station goes all the way to the platform, where shops, cafés and restaurant are placed directly on the platforms. As soon as you get off the train, you will be in the middle of a vibrant city centre.
“Modern Roskilde is literally built around the old station, which is also the oldest and one of the busiest stations in Denmark. Today however the railway has become a backside and a barrier in the very centre of the city. We turn this into new front side presenting a new face of Roskilde with vibrant city life, shops and public spaces right on platform,” says Sinus Lynge.
From infrastructural passage to green urban space
As an alternative to a traditional bridge or tunnel as the infrastructural link across the railway, the design team propose an open green urban space with the railroad tracks hovering above. The passage will serve as the main connection between the two parts of the city and will be lined with shops, cafés and service functions as well as informal areas for social interaction and recreation. This solution also leads to a more intuitive navigation throughout the station and provide a great vantage point of the city while solving the logistics of the 30.000 daily passengers more seamless and efficient.
“The passage creates a visual and spatial connection across the railway and is designed as a generous and open urban space adding space instead of occupying. This station area will be a part of so many people’s everyday lives, so the solutions must be optimal in terms of distance, time consumption, accessibility and comfort. The seamless and efficient transition between different modes of transportation will also increase the use of public transport. “ says Sinus Lynge.
“A new city link for everyday life and a passage that challenge and inspire the inhabitants of Roskilde to discover new ways of using their city,” says Bart Brands.
From desolate parking to vibrant city
The strategy will transform the desolate parking area and industrial leftover land area into a new vibrant city centre. In addition to the infrastructural hub, the masterplan includes housing, offices, retail, a hotel, department store and a series of new connections and urban spaces. The new connections and urban spaces are linked to the existing urban spaces and support a variety of local neighbourhoods with their own individual qualities. The new area has a great variation of scale, density and program relating to the existing adjacent neighbourhoods and throughout the site public space is seamlessly integrated into the fabric. The main urban space is located with direct access to the railroad platform on one side and commercial functions on the other in reference to the historical market town.
It was a unanimous jury that selected the project, which has broad political support in the municipality.
“The masterplan for Roskilde Station Area is a historic and visionary scheme that will reconnect the divided city. The city will be forever changed, when we correct the sins of the past and remove the wedge that physically drives the city apart and replace it with a new dynamic city center characterized by urban life and shopping. EFFEKT delivered a project of high architectural quality and I look forward to the realization with great anticipation.” says Joy Mogensen, Mayor of Roskilde.
Jurymember and developer Claus B. Hansen is also very satisfied with the project.
“We have a real opportunity to create an attractive residential and commercial neighborhood in the area. We already see a great interest from future residents and business interested in establishing offices and commercial activities in the area.” says Claus B. Hansen."
The two phase competition began in November 2015 and a winner announced in August 2016. During both phases more than 100 citizens have been involved in workshops and contributing to the process with their ideas. The zoning process and the design development will commence immediately