Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish architect and engineer, won the competition in 1996, to create a new high speed train station in Liege, Belgium. Replacing the Liege Guillemins station dating back to 1958. Calatrava’s solution uses one gigantic arched roof 160 metres long and 32 metres high. Below the platform level is an arcade of shops and facilities with the feeling of being inside a whale. This level is lit from above by glass bricks seen at platform level.
Liege Guillemins Construction
The station is made of steel, glass and smooth white concrete. The station had to be kept open for the entire period of the build, so it took over ten years to build, finally opening in September 2009.
Linking Areas of the City
The new station bridges two parts of the city, previously split by the railway tracks. As the station is always open, it is possible to walk straight through to the hilly area of the city. Here Calatrava uses stunning high vaulted cathedral-like arches – reminiscent of the Gaudi’s Casa Milà interiors in Barcelona.
Each area of the station is served by: stairs, escalators, lifts and even shallow-angled moving walkways.