This Thursday, May 21, Rotterdam Central Station has won the Best Building of the Year Award 2015. The jury was deeply impressed by the way Team CS has managed to solve a multitude of spatial issues with a grand gesture. Therefore the station was chosen unanimously. That same evening architects Jan Benthem and Jeroen van Schooten were invited to the popular Dutch TV show DWDD.
In the TV show Wim Pijbes, jury president and director of the Rijksmuseum, praised Central Station elaborately. He calls the building a symbol for the city of Rotterdam, with great iconic value and an incomparable spatial effect: a railway cathedral of the 21th century. Show host Matthijs van Nieuwkerk agrees: ‘The Netherlands has become a bit more beautiful.’
Organized by the Association of Dutch Architects (BNA), The Best Building of 2015 is the tenth edition of the competition. In total there were 120 entries and nine nominees, including the Rotterdam Market Hall by MVRDV and the Beemster cheese factory by Bastiaan Jongerius Architects.
Excerpts from the jury report: ‘The new station building is not only a memorable building, but also provides the Grande Entrée which Rotterdam lacked for so long. With the construction of the station a number of spatial problems are solved: the connection between train and metro, the connection with the (underground) bicycle park and the design of public space. Moreover, a beautiful public interior has been added to the city.
In its simplicity, the jury found the use of materials – steel, wood and glass -exceptionally effective. The ingenuity lies in details like the vistas from the passage to the platforms and the skylights, which bring daylight into the hall through mirrors.
The jury looked for some negative aspects of the design; they found none. Rotterdam Central is in every respect a fantastic building: The Best Building of 2015.’