Delft, a city of roughly 100,000 people, opened the doors of its newly completed train station on Saturday. Located in the province of South Holland, 40 miles away from Amsterdam, the Prinsenstad—which translates to prince city as a result of a long history with the country's royal family—is known for its canals and quintessential Dutch architecture, all the while being at the forefront of technical advances.
Delft-based architecture firm Mecanoo had the idea to make travelers aware, if not certain, they had arrived in the city with a sprawling abstract map on the vaulted ceiling, segmented by multiple partitions which form a united image with consistent shapes that the eye naturally connects. Measuring 360 by 230 feet, the map features Delft and its surroundings in 1877. The ceiling connects the train station with the city hall, the latter still under construction in what is a two-phase development (the station being the first). The interconnected use of both buildings will be available in 2017, once the old railway viaduct from 1965 will be demolished and the municipal building completed.
Mecanoo's creative director, Francine Houben, Hon. FAIA, shared her excitement in a press release: “Coming up the escalators, the impressive ceiling with the historic map of Delft unfolds. When you look outside, you see the city and the old station as a modern ‘View of Delft’ by the late Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Arriving in Delft is now an unforgettable experience!"
More on the project here.