Saturday 23 May 2015

Great Railway Stations Number 9: Haarlem

The railway station at Haarlem is rather special – early Machine Age engineering and architectural ceramics combine to offer a richly anachronistic experience. Recently restored to its full glory with beautifully varnished timbers, painted steelwork and glowing ceramic pictorial panels. A tall unglazed curved canopy supported on slender tapering steelwork soars over unenclosed platforms. Daylight comes mainly from the side rather than from overhead creating some unusual effects of light and shade. A unique feature is the provision of an elevated signal box of hardwood construction over a ground floor plinth in glazed brickwork, embedded in the heart of the station. The station roof is the longest in the Netherlands and was designed by an engineer named H Werker. The rest of the building was the responsibility of the architect, Dirk Margadant and built in 1906-08. The largest ceramic panels decorate the Stationshal with images of farming and metal bashing designed by D J P de Ruiter at the Rozenburg studio in Den Haag. The smaller panels were also supplied by Rozenburg to designs by E Cuyper. The decorative scheme is completed with stained-glass windows and carved floral motifs. 

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