Rotterdam Centraal Station

Rotterdam, NL

Rotterdam Centraal Station is a transport hub of major importance for The Netherlands, Belgium, France and The United Kingdom. It combines both the efficiency of an international hi-speed station with the city’s bold ambitions for urban development and renewal. The station matches the practicality, capacity, comfort and allure, of the central stations of Madrid, Paris, London and Brussels. It was designed by Team CS, a cooperation between Benthem Crouwel Architects, MVSA Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten, and West 8.

Two main entrances

The grand entrance on the city side provides a gateway to the high-rise urban center. The station derives its new international, metropolitan identity from the hall made of glass and wood. The roof of the hall, on the outside clad with stainless steel, gives the building an iconic character and points to the heart of the city.

The entrance on the north side has a modest design, befitting the character of the low-rise neighborhood Provenierswijk and the smaller number of passengers that enter the station from this side.

A unified public space

The plaza in front of the station is seamlessly merged to a green esplanade: together they form a 300 meter long continuous, unified public space leading into the heart of Rotterdam. A parking garage for 750 cars and a bicycle storage for 5,200 bikes are located underground. The complexity of buses, trams, taxis, and short-term parking demanded a number of ingenious solutions, which successfully created a single barrier-free public space that prioritizes the pedestrian. The station building and the plaza share the same red-colored natural stone pavement.

Interior: natural light

Upon entering the bright high hall from the city center, the traveler has a clear overview of the entire station, including the trains waiting above the concourse. The wood finish on the inside of the hall, combined with the euphorically shaped structural beams of the platform roof creates a warm and welcoming ambience. The largely transparent roof structure covering the tracks over a length of 250 meters, floods the platforms with natural light. The glass plates of the roof vary the level of light transmittance by utilizing different solar cells patterns, which produce an ever-changing and fascinating play of shadows on the platforms.

Rotterdam Central District Masterplan

Team CS also created a masterplan for the Rotterdam Central District. The ultra-modern station and the surrounding (re-)developments, with a total ground surface of 57000 m2, together reinforced the unique location of the Rotterdam Central District within Europe. Today Rotterdam Central District area is a center for living, working, and travelling with a thriving 24-hour economy.

In June 2004, Team CS received the commission to build the new train station. West 8 was involved in the team as architect, urban designer and landscape architect. The station opened in 2014.

Photography: Jeroen Musch, Jannes Linders


Prorail / Gemeente Rotterdam


American Architecture Prize 2017, Best Building of 2015 by Architects Association of the Netherlands (BNA), The Nederlandse Bouwprijs (Dutch Construction Award) 2015 in the Buildings Category, Architect of the Year 2014 for Team CS, Rotterdam Architectuurprijs (Rotterdam Architecture Prize) 2014, The Dutch Design Award (2014) in the Habitat Catergory, The International Brunel Award (2014) for outstanding railway architecture design in the Category I Station Buildings, The Nationale Staal Prijs in Non-Residential Construction category (2014), The Wood Architecture Prize (2014), The Daylight Award in non-residential buildings category (2014), StiB (Steden in Beweging = Cities in Motion) Award (2014) and Dutch Golden Phoenix Award in Area Transformation category (2014)