Commuter travel services should be sustainable both in terms of means of transport, and with regards to the design of key travel hubs.
15 October, 2020
With this sustainable goal in mind, Cobe and Dissing+Weitling created Køge Nord Station - the snake or tube-like aluminium footbridge that connects two very important train lines, a high-speed rail line and a suburban rail line. The footbridge also runs above Denmark's busiest motorway.
The bridge was designed to support a more sustainable commuting system and encourage the local residents to use Denmark's user-friendly, fast-moving trains instead of privately-owned cars. When planning the bridge, it was essential the structure was directly connected to a park-and-ride facility, in order to allow commuters to easily and safely park their cars before taking the high-speed train into Copenhagen, 35 kilometers away from the park-and-ride itself.

Image: Dezeen
To effectively meet the sustainability goals set for this project, the travel hub had to be not just comfortable for its users (it is expected more than 8,000 people will use the facility on a daily basis), the hub also had to be made of eco-friendly materials. Therefore, the choice for the primary cladding material was obvious – it would be made of aluminum. The goal set for the designers was to create a covered, pedestrian bridge. During the creative process the studio chose an elliptical shape for the structure, in order for the 225-metre-long footbridge to leave a simple and unifying impression. It is accessible by five lifts and staircases that protrude outwards from the aluminium-clad cylinder. Large panoramic windows were also included in the design to frame the views at either end of the bridge, while the aluminium facade serve as a sun block.

Image: Dezeen
"The station is most often seen by people travelling at speed on the motorway, this calls for a restrained outer geometry and limited use of different materials. The material of choice in this case being the aluminium cladding," Cobe founder Dan Stubbergaard told Dezeen.

Cobe and Dissing+Weitling selected durable industrial materials for the footbridge, now made from concrete and aluminium with structural steel elements.

"Being visible to more than 100,000 motorists and passengers every day, the station should have iconic qualities, it should be simple, yet distinctive and blend well into the landscape," Steen Trojaborg, Managing Director at Dissing+Weitling, noted in an interview with Dezeen.

Image: Dezeen
"We approached the brief initially by deciding to aim for a design that would generate connectivity between the different functions of the station in an effortless manner. We focused our efforts into creating a pleasant and attractive environment for all passengers using the station," he added.

"The goal was to celebrate public infrastructure, and the joy of travel by pursuing the iconic qualities of the station specified in the brief."

"For the station interior , we selected oakwood cladding to introduce a warmer, more pleasant feeling., whilst effectively protecting the people walking across two rail lines and eight lanes of motorway," Trojaborg commented. .

"Public space belongs to all of us, they are where we meet and interact, they tie communities together and create coherence between us all as individuals," Stubbergaard added.

"When appropriately considered , and designed crucially from a consumer-focused viewpoint, creating public infrastructure of this kind can have a real impact on many people's lives. Our aim is to create extraordinary everyday spaces."

Banner image: Dezeen