station at Spaarne Hospital (Spaarne Ziekenhuis)
2134 TM Hoofddorp The
This blob bus
stop won an ar+d prize from the Architectural Review, and is the world's
biggest structure built entirely from synthetic materials: factory-cut
polystyrene foam with a polyester skin. It is the terminus of several bus
routes in Hoofddorp, forming an oval roundabout in front of the edge-of-town
The length of
the structure gives it a grace and elegance as sculpture, somewhat
spoilt already by a green color emerging from the polyester, especially
around the most prominent join.
The ar+d jury
"was impressed by the spatial and technical élan and ingenuity of the
building... Almost all blobs create a zone of dead space round them. But
here the dead area already exists." While this is true, it is rather a
negative way of looking at the context, and does not address what it is like
to come out of the hospital and wait for a bus.
is sculpturally exciting, but not welcoming. Here the long, low profile
that gives the grace to the outside elevation creates emptiness and
exposure. The molded contours in the ceiling are already accumulating
grime, and the youths sitting on the top of the rib with their feet on
the seats are doing so not just because it's a cooler place to sit and
text, but because backward-sloping molded seat also accumulates grime
that makes it unappealing to sit on.
NIO did their
homework in testing their unconventional materials against active
vandalism from knives, cigarettes, graffiti and so on, but may not have
sufficiently anticipated the effect of less willful human wear and tear.
Although the building is sculpturally well placed, and protected against
vandalism, it does not feel empathetic towards the more benign hospital
visitors it is there to serve.
Simon Glynn 2005
How to visit
a small but fast-growing town near Sciphol Airport, one stop on the
train towards Den Haag (or from Amsterdam, one stop beyond Sciphol on
the stopping train towards Den Haag).
train station, you can reach the bus station by bus in about 20 minutes:
take a bus marked "Spaarne Ziekenhuis", which is the hospital the bus
station serves and is the end of the route. Routes 52 and 196 both work; you
can also take route 196 directly from Sciphol Airport.