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Pleasant waiting to be transported by train (in a container)

This railway station in the Netherlands by Dutch studio NL Architects comprises a cross formation of shipping containers that frame a transparent waiting room and cafe.

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NL Architects designed the Barneveld Noord station for Dutch national railway service ProRail, which is upgrading 20 stations across the country as part of a campaign called Prettig Wachten, or Pleasant Waiting.

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“One of the keys to the success of Prettig Wachten is to introduce human presence on these stations, to create some sort of informal supervision,” said the architects, explaining the concept to add features such as WIFI and artwork to stations.

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The architects used shipping containers to create a temporary structure that could easily be relocated.

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“Containers seemed a cheap and light material that can easily be put together and taken apart, ” the architects commented. “These huge building blocks allowed us to create a large sculpture with minimal effort.”

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Three of the containers form a roof above the glazed waiting room. One has an open bottom, creating a double-height space, while the other two are sealed to provide overhead storage.

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A fourth container has been flipped on its side to form a clock tower in the middle of the structure. A toilet is located inside, with a skylight overhead to let in natural light.

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A gilded chicken sits on the top of the tower, as a reference to the local egg farming industry that earned the route its nickname “chicken line”.

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