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Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Netherlands Architecture News - Oct 07, 2018 - 23:38   16496 views

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Mecanoo architects and furniture maker Gispen have revealed their vision for the modular interior train design, allowing passengers a wide variety of configurations and diverse activities.

Commissioned by the NS, the Dutch National Railway Company, the team have mapped train passengers’ activities and they proposed a modular prototypes that make feel every traveller a unique journey with various configurations. 

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Left and right side: Module L - coach and vis-à-vis new generation

"Every year, 373 million travellers spend their time in NS trains. In NS’s (the Dutch National Railway Company) future vision for 2025, the train will be more than a means of transport," said Mecanoo.

"Travel time will become more attractive and will be part of travellers’ 'own time'."

Based on the architects' research, they defined six activity zones, ranging from open and social to private and concentrated. These activity zones are differentiated by varying arrangements of twelve furniture modules. The modules include both current and new train interior elements and configurations. 

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Right side: Module E – stits (standing/sitting)

A dynamic travel landscape is created with various seating, 'stit' (sit-stand or leaning) and standing places where every traveller can find a place that suits them depending on their activity, travel time, group size, luggage and required facilities.

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Right side: Module J - solitary vis-à-vis

The new train interior facilitates a wide range of activities. The new interior will be comfortable, accessible and welcoming to everyone. "These qualities coincide perfectly with Gispen’s experience in furniture making and with Mecanoo’s experience in the architectural and interior design of museums, libraries, schools and offices. The result is an innovative train concept that makes travelling a whole new experience," said Mecanoo. 

"Train stations are not only calling cards for the Netherlands that huge flows of people go past every day, but they are also public spaces that have to be laid out with great care," said Francine Houben, Creative Director at Mecanoo.

"The train journey deserves that same level of care and attention – you should design it as a public space where you would be happy to stay, as an activity-related space that interacts with the sensory perceptions."

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Module D - tribune

"Developing circular-economy products lets us extend lifespans and avoid waste. In trains in particular, it’s extremely important to allow materials to live again by being reused."

With the flexible twelve-module furniture system, a suitable combination will be made for every type of train for an optimal travel environment. The elements have a completely circular production model. The fabrics used in the interior will be reusable and the modules will be easily disassembled and interchangeable. The NS thus flexibly accommodates travellers’ needs and is prepared for the sustainable mobility of the future.

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Right and left side: Module A - vis-à-vis and module K - coach

"What innovation means for NS is that we ask partners who are leaders in their fields to take a fresh look at our customers’ everyday train journeys and at what the best layout for the train is. How can we create more room at peak times and how can we enhance the comfort and the overall experience during the rest of the day? I find the results of our cooperation highly inspirational," said Tjalling Smit, NS Executive Board member.

"The train of the future will let you get more out of your day, for example because you are able to work undisturbed. It will turn journey time into working time. Or time for reading, chatting or chilling out. The train makes it all possible – it’s the passengers who decide."

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Right side: Module I (1eclass) – bar table window

The architects presented their vision at the Innovation Expo 2018 in Rotterdam, but they will present design at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven where everyone will be able to experience the design for themselves, from 20 to 28 October, 2018. 

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Configurations diagram

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Mecanoo and Gispen reveal vision for modular train interior allowing passengers diverse activities

Project facts

Status: ongoing  

Project Design: 2017 - 2018 

Client: NS (Dutch Railways)

Design team: Mecanoo and Gispen

Programme: Flexible and modular train interior that enables a wide variety of configurations and facilitates train passengers’ diverse activities. With the flexible twelve-module furniture system, a suitable combination can be made for every type of train for an optimal travel environment. 

Top image: Right side: Module I – bar table window

All images courtesy of Mecanoo

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