The Benelux-line in Rotterdam is a recent addition to the existing subway. The twelve kilometre long subway line is an extension of the Caland line, connecting Marconiplein to the south of Rotterdam via the Benelux tunnel. On top of the new concrete rail track, designed by Maarten Struijs, several architectural firms designed railway stations.
Under the authority of RET and in cooperation with Gemeentewerken Rotterdam, the architects ZJA designed station Vijfsluizen, in Schiedam. Gemeentewerken Rotterdam is responsible for the realization of the station. After station Vijfsluizen the subway first enters the Benelux tunnel and then continues under the river Maas. A part of the second Benelux tunnel, also designed by ZJA, was already reserved for the new railway line. In 2002 the Benelux line came into use.
The platforms of the station are on the same level as the flyover: 7,5 metres above ground level. The entrance hall is built on ground level. The main entrance is situated on the north side of the station and borders on both the bus station and the connection to the Tram-Plus line. The entrance hall on the south side is adjacent to a business park that has yet to be developed. The entrances as well as the platforms are designed as open as possible, allowing a maximum of natural light; this makes it pleasant and safe for travellers. The station has transparent windshields of punctured steel on both sides, offering an unobstructed view of the industrial harbour landscape.
Curved steel frames, suspending from steel masts with guy wires, carry the roof. The combination of the curved rail track and the curved frames results in a non-symmetrical, slightly bent middle platform and double curved undulating planes on the roof. The space between the frames above the platform is filled with bent steel plates; segmented glass plates on both sides support the curving of the roof. The space between the frames above the tracks remains open. The entrances on the north and south side will also be covered with curved steel roofs. Ten millimetre thick and 2,8 millimetre wide steel plates go from convex to concave over a length of ten metres; above the platforms the steel plate bulges, above the entrance on ground level it is hollow. Part of the platform will be covered. The spatial construction of the roof is continued over the rest of the platform by means of loose frames.
The masts carrying the steel roof frames tower over the station. In the top steel pennants with the letter M revolve in the wind. In the magnificent surrounding landscape – dominated by highways and viaducts, the river Maas and large-scale harbour activities – the station on the concrete tracks catches the eye.