In Sweden’s port-city Helsingborg, the central train station has a new south entrance worth a visit
Everybody has heard of the flying carpet from the tale of Aladdin’s Lamp, King Solomon or Prince Ahmed and the fairy Pari Banu. Now we finally know where the carpet was landed – for good this time: the site is the new south entrance Helsingborg’s Central Station in Sweden.
The „flying carpet“ was gently placed there by Tengbom architects on a bed of Scandinavian Slate.
Some background information: the port of Helsingborg is the landing site for ferries arriving from Denmark every 20 minutes and a hub (Swedish: Knutpunkten) for travelers. The daily turnaround of some 22,000 travelers in transit today is predicted to increase to 32,000 by 2020.
Preparing for refurbishment and modernization of the Central Station, the South Entrance required work most urgently.
Its function was not only to bridge the port and the underground tracks but also to reduce segregation in the town and upgrade the port district. A University campus has since been established there and Helsingborg Arena is currently under construction.
Tengbom’s Patrik Ekenhill describes the idea behind the project: „In the hard, windy environment we searched for a warm, calm, simple and quiet monumentality. Calm surfaces, daylight and the big embracing roof (were) the key elements.“
The theme was embracing mobility and transition. Practically the project is about creating sustainable structures able to withstand the wear and tear of time: bicycles have a place of honor under and beneath the „flying carpet“: some 450 bicycle spaces have been created including facilities such as a pump, a repair station and lockers.
Ample lighting as well as picture window fronts allow for high transparency. The slate cladding integrated into the concrete walls seems to mushroom out of the ground.
The high quality material implemented lends an air of the extra class underscored by granite strips in the pavement around the building and the small blocks mounted as optical boundaries.
The planters are also framed in granite. Stone was provided by Nordskiffer Company.
The round benches mounted around a type of looking hatch are an eye-catcher and allow daylight to flood the lower level while bridging the gap between the levels.
When light shines through the hatches they take on the air of little islands of light in cold winter nights.
The hatches are mounted where emergency exits were previously located.
The project is short-listed for the World Architecture Festival 2016 in the category traffic-completed works.
Photos: Felix Gerlach
(13.10.2016, USA: 10.13.2016)