Assen Station Area

Assen, NL

Can a station connect two halves of a city?


Assen Station Area

The importance of the Drenthe region’s capital in the major axis between Groningen and Assen is increasing, and its position in the network towards Zwolle is becoming more influential. Good anchoring in the Northern Netherlands urban transport network is essential in order to be able to fully exploit this new prominence. For this, it was essential to renew the station and the station area..

FlorijnAs master plan study

Variant study: ‘Sloping Square’ versus ‘Short Tunnel’

De Zwarte Hond first made the FlorijnAs master plan study and later the urban plan for the station area. The aim was to create good accessibility for all modalities, while also building a bridge between the two parts of the city, on both sides of the railway.

In a variant study, two models were considered: ‘Sloping Square’ and ‘Short Tunnel’. The second model was chosen, in which car traffic disappears from ground level on the station square.

This is Assen’s new front door

The new station building – designed in collaboration with Powerhouse Company – forms the spectacular final part of the area development. The station is defined by a triangular roof that connects the different programmatic parts of the station, and which literally and figuratively bridges the physical barrier that the tracks form through the city.

Assen Station Area

The new Assen Station building is the most eye-catching part of the area development that is promoting the accessibility and growth of the City of Assen (the FlorijnAs programme). The ensemble of brick, wood and glass matches the character of the capital of Drenthe and provides a grand entrance to the city in a simple, and also intrinsically spacious way. This is Assen’s new front door.

The triangular station roof completely spans the newly expanded railway line and thus fulfils a key role in connecting eastern and western city districts. The complex transport flows of the station square have been resolved with a new platform tunnel for pedestrians, the restoration and shortening of the existing bicycle tunnel, a car tunnel and an underground bicycle parking garage for 2,600 bicycles. This has created a pedestrian-friendly station area with a high-quality green design, minimal impact from cars and a pleasant human scale. The 3,000 m² roof is made entirely of wood. This is unique: the first time in the Netherlands that a railway line has been bridged in wood.


Assen Station Area
Assen, NL
3.015 m²
Gemeente Assen, ProRail, NS
Architecture, Research, Urban Design
Culture, Infrastructure
Sebastian van Damme, Egbert de Boer, Harry Cock, Marcel Ijzerman
Powerhouse Company
  • The Plan
  • Drenthe Architecture Prize
    Jury Prize
  • BNA Best Building of the Year
    People's Choice Award
  • Nomination Prix Versailles
    Passenger Stations
  • Nomination ArchDaily Building of the Year
    Public & Landscape Architecture
More info