Roofing structure for the Central Bus Station… an overview
The new construction of the Pforzheim Central Bus Station is part of a large-scale infrastructure development project, which, as well as improving traffic flows, will make a key contribution in urban development and architectural terms by upgrading the entire area.
… on the urban development
The roofscape of the new bus station forms an unstructured area between the railway station and flyover and a new modern mobility hub within a high-grade urban space. Instead of a monotonous sequence of roofed platforms, what emerged is an urban space as an authentic “venue” boasting high recognition value.
Situated just the right distance from the main station, the new bus station appears as an extension of the historical building – a to-the-point urban marker, which breathes new life into what was an inhospitable area to the east of the station building. The bus station submits to the superordinate scale of the main station by subdividing the roof area into three sections, benefiting from the head-turning visuals and significance of the latter within the urban fabric and provides thrilling views and insights into the districts north of the railway line.
… on the roofing concept
The language of forms employed in the original historical station building from the 50s has been upgraded with an element of contemporary design: The curved edges of the roof sections are derived from the typical radii and loops of vehicles in motion – the bus station features prominently as a dynamic local transport center. Openings over the lanes allow light and sunshine to flow into the bus platforms as well as structuring the view from below and enlivening the spatial experience with a varied interplay of shadow.
The roof can also be perceived as a modern interpretation of aesthetics from the fifties : Following the almost complete destruction of the downtown area in 1945, town planners and officials, instead of recreating the former old buildings, risked taking the decision to construct something entirely new: The architectural language underpinning this rebirth plays a crucial role in Pforzheim, particularly in terms of conferring identity.
… on the furnishing
Linear arrayed elements encompass a compact summary of the required bus-station functions, such as information signs, a clock, passenger information system, text-to-speech units for visually impaired people and seating facilities. Small and easily accessible ‘functional islands’ as “venues” are favored instead of scattered individual elements. This also helps ensure visual clarity, enhances navigation and overviews and helps people find the bus stops they need swiftly and reliably. An ongoing series of tactile paving connects together all the stairs.
… on the lighting
A row of lighting aligned with the roof contour is a key component of the architecture, emphasizing the dynamic nature of the form in the twilight and achieving a level of significance that belies the problem of overnight “desertification” of this area. The use of “lighting leaves“ on columns bathes the soffit in neutral white light. Units incorporated into the ceiling surface ensure targeted lighting of bus platforms. LEDs, built into the handrails, expand the lighting scope of the staircases, for easier navigation and improved security.
… on the supporting structure
The steel supporting structure consist mainly of the columns and girder grids. The girder grids slowly fold downward, merging into the railway track area. The positioning of the columns reflects traffic planning and the use of areas under the roofing. From there, they are connected rigidly via welded brackets to the interfaces of the supporting clusters made of standard roller profiles on the girder grid of the roof; this sees the girders and columns form multiple field frames in both directions.
The frame is used to reinforce the support structure. Fluctuations in temperature can be absorbed thanks to the flexibility of the “super-flex“ columns and via torsion at the base point. The internal space-defining paneling of the supporting structure is formed using movable suspended cement-bound plaster supporting plates. The “graphical“ aspect of the required expansion joints underlines the dynamically elegant nature of the roof shell.
… on the drainage
The roof space is drained via all the columns. This forms small drainage areas, minimizing the level of construction required for the necessary inclines. Source by Metaraum Architekten.
- Location: Bahnhofsplatz 1, 75175 Pforzheim, Germany
- Architects: Metaraum Architekten
- Project Team: Wallie Heinisch, Marcus Lembach, Marcus Huber, Felix Bittmann
- Structural Engineer: Engelsmann Peters Beratende Ingenieure GmbH
- Lighting Engineer: Day & Light Lichtplanung
- Traffic Engineer: Mailänder Consult GmbH
- Owner: Stadt Pforzheim, Germany
- Budget: 14,800,000 EUR, (Roof 7,100,000 EUR)
- Area: 110.000 sqft
- Roof area: 55.000 sqft
- Year: 2015
- Photographs: zooey braun FOTOGRAFIE, Courtesy of Metaraum Architekten