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Diamonds for The Hague
11/18/2013

The Hague’s new central terminus is certainly worthy of its name. In the future, you cannot only catch a train there but the entire fleet the city’s public transportation system has to offer – including busses and streetcars. Embellished with ample glazing, the airy terminal hall with a footprint of 120 by 96 meters will boast a whole cornucopia of stores and hospitality outlets, which are expected to attract some 190,000 visitors each day. A clear layout and good orientation were the key elements when planning the terminal, which is accessible from all sides.

A full 22 meters high, the roof was conceived as a fifth façade of sorts and designed in steel and glass. The architects at Benthem Crouwel opted for a rhomboid structure for the 11,000 square-meter ceiling, which received its striking facets from Colt’s “Firelight” ventilation system from. Each module comprises four triangular flap ventilators; together with the glass panels these paint rhomboid-shaped shadows on the floor of the terminal hall. Engineers refer to these smoke and heat exhaust ventilators as “tulip-shape modules”. In The Hague, more than 200 of these have combined into so-called “diamonds” – a poetic paraphrase for the highly sophisticated architectural solution co-developed by Colt. Requirements in ventilation technology provided the inspiration for this extraordinary design.

Assembly proved to be a real challenge – each day 10 modules, equaling some 40 tons of material, had to be fitted. Photo: © Colt International
Assembly proved to be a real challenge – each day 10 modules, equaling some 40 tons of material, had to be fitted. Photo: © Colt International
The flap ventilators from Colt are open. Photo: © Colt International
A detailed view of the Colt flap ventilators – pictured here in closed position. Photo: © Colt International
The station can be entered from all sides and is also serviced by busses and streetcars. Photo: © Colt International
“Firelight” elements from Colt structure the terminal’s glass roof into, creating a facetted surface. Photo: © Colt International

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