In June 2020 Mathis Wiesselmann, Chief of Police, and Dr. Ulrich Schückhaus, Chairman of the Board of Management of EWMH, signed the rental agreement for the new police station, kicking off the development of Rheydt Main Railway Station. A jury of experts and policy-makers has now decided on the architecture for the new building, subject to approval from the EWMG Supervisory Board. There was a clear vote in favour of the winning design.
A total of nine candidates took part in a two-stage competition, with BRINGSARCHITEKTEN emerging as the winner. Summarizing the jury’s verdict Janaan Safi, Chairman of EWMG’s Supervisory Board, said: “The concepts were compelling in terms of architecture and urban design as well as functionality and sustainability.”
Rendering building: BRINGSARCHITEKTEN
The second stage of the competition focused on the construction concept as well as a cost estimate for the building with a minimum above-ground gross floor area of 3,700 square meters. The specification included a clearly-defined space allocation programme for the police, the integration of retail and service areas, and functional use as a railway station building. Other parameters were a sustainability concept and an electric air taxi hub for short-distance flights in a future scenario.
“With BRINGSARCHITEKTEN we have found a partner to bring creative and innovative momentum to Rheydt Main Station without losing sight of economic efficiency,” Schückhaus explained. 30 percent of the bid assessment was based on economic efficiency and 70 percent on concept quality. The winning design features a three-storey structure with a mezzanine floor allowing barrier-free central access to the platforms and the main station concourse. Both the binding space allocation programme for the police station and the integration of the air taxi hub on the roof of the building are to be realized. Well-proportioned flexibly-designed space for offices and services together with a high-quality, partially-landscaped inner courtyard will give the entire development an attractive flair. In addition, the concept can be expanded to include a bicycle parking station.
“The project is an important element in the current discussion about strengthening the centre of Rheydt. This attractive new building marks a fresh start for Rheydt Main Railway Station, and the city of Mönchengladbach is setting a good example for the district’s inner-city area. It is now up to other private owners to demonstrate their belief in inner cities during our upcoming facilitation process,” City Director and Technical Deputy, Dr Gregor Bonin, emphasized.
Completion by end of 2023
Following slight delays due to coronavirus, the project is now entering the implementation phase. Following final approval from the EWMG Supervisory Board in April, demolition of the dilapidated arrivals hall at Rheydt Main Railway Station is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In 2019, EWMG drew up functional plans for the new building in close coordination with the police force, and a Europe-wide competition for architectural services was then launched in mid-2020. “The time-consuming negotiations, planning and tendering process have paid off,” Schückhaus said, referring to the understandable demands and concerns of the local population about the poor condition of the old building. “Now, we can systematically drive this project forward.” Construction work on the new building is scheduled to begin in spring 2022, with completion and relocation starting at the end of 2023.