The city of Liège in Belgium has a new ultra-modern TGV Railway Station designed by respected Valencian Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava, who began working on the project in 1996, will be on site for the unveiling as the city celebrates the grand architecture and the town’s position as the new epicenter of the North European High-Speed Network. The high-speed trains will link England, France, Belgium, Germany, and other cities, along with shortening the travel times of trips across Europe.
“It was my goal to create a 21st century transportation facility that would not only unite Liège with the rest of Europe, but would also serve as a symbol of the city’s renewal,” said Santiago Calatrava. “The project, as a whole, creates a new gateway into Liège and re-establishes a relationship with the city.”
The station’s flowing design nods to Calatrava’s reoccurring theme of movement. “The vaulted shape of the roof was a natural development of this vision, while the soft, undulating curve was selected to mimic the graceful rise and fall of the Cointe Hills in the background,” continues Calatrava.
Calatrava, who has offices in Zurich, New York and Valencia, recently completed the design for the World Trade Center Transportation Hub at Ground Zero in New York City. His other internationally-recognized work includes the expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin (2001), the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (2004), the Light Rail Train Bridge in Jerusalem (2007) and the Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande in Venice (2008).
The town of Liège will honor the new station with an extravagant grand opening party on September 18th, featuring a larger-than-life show by the renowned Franco Dragone Entertainment Group, the company that was behind Cirque du Soleil. Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, international dignitaries and members of the royal family, including Prince Philippe of Belgium will attend the festivities.
While Liège is known for its Chaudfontaine mineral water, Galler chocolate, as well as Belgium’s most popular and famous beer, Jupiler, the Liège-Guillemins TGV Railway Station marks the beginning of a long-term architectural vision for a new corporate center in Belgium.
Photo courtesy of Barbara Burg/Oliver Schuh: www.palladium.de.