Waiting for a train to arrive is often the most frustrating part of the public transportation experience. A long wait on a cold, barren platform? No thanks.
In a bid to encourage rail travel, Dutch national railway company ProRail has launched an initiative called Prettig Wachten or “pleasant wait.” Through the program, the company is upgrading waiting areas in 20 railway stations throughout the country. And in the small Dutch city of Barneveld, NL Architects has devised a simple, but ingenious waiting room scheme. It’s all doors.
To make room for station improvements such as more handicap-accessible restrooms, the waiting room inside Barneveld Centrum is being replaced with a new, detached pavilion on the platform. The all-transparent pavilion lets you see when the train is approaching no matter how many other passengers are stuffed in there. And once the train does pull into the station, there’s no bottleneck at the door as people rush out onto the platform. Each of the windowpanes is an operable door, allowing passengers to enter and exit the waiting room at any part of the structure. The architects, in a description of the design, dub it “Harry Potter and the permeable walls.”
Granted, on a chilly day, people opening up doors on either side of the pavilion are likely to let in quite a draft of cold air, but that seems a small price to pay to prevent people from crushing each other on the way to catch their train.
The bottom line: more doors, everywhere, thank you.