NETHERLANDS: King Willem-Alexander ceremonially inaugurated the rebuilt Rotterdam Centraal station on March 13, during celebrations which included dancing and musical performances.

The station has been rebuilt to cope with predicted growth from the current 110 000 passengers/day - as many people as use Amsterdam Schiphol airport - to 323 000 passengers/ day by 2025. The design is intended to create a landmark gateway to Rotterdam, reflecting the station's dual role as a hub of the city's transport system and a major station on the international high speed rail network.

The building was required to take into account the different urban environments either side of the railway, with a grand southern entrance facing the city centre and more modest entrance to the north. A large window provides direct views of the city, and the roof incorporates photovoltaic cells capable of supplying 340 MWh a year, the equivalent of the energy requirements of one hundred households.

The red stone station floor continues into the forecourt, to merge the station with the city. The public space in front of the station will cover parking spaces for 760 cars and 5 190 bicycles. The tram stops have been moved to the east side, with bus, taxi and short-term parking spaces designed to avoid creating barriers for pedestrians.

The project has been undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment, the city and city region, infrastructure manager ProRail and national passenger operator NS. It was managed by the Team CS joint venture of urban design specialist West 8 and architects Benthem Crouwel and Meyer & Van Schooten, with Arcadis as consultant.