I’d like to provide you with some pictures of waiting rooms at Dutch railway stations. Since I’m travelling a lot by train through the Dutch Metropolis, I’ve developed my own waiting habits. After periods in which smoking, sudokus, cellphone games, Foursquare and feeding my Twitter account with pictures were favorite activities for wasting time, I finally discovered the waiting room.
Dutch train stations are all provided with neat transparent cabins on the platforms, designed to wait in a light and socially secure environment. Although these places are completely transparent and everything but cosy domestic sheds, they are, in fact, spaces to relax. Entering them is like being in a different world, away from the stress on the turbulent platforms. Most people in the waiting room do nothing but waiting, which in fact is quite difficult for a large part of mankind. There are rarely phones, laptops, free newspapers, or iPods, some waiters are reading a book. Nevertheless, most waiting room people are just waiting. I decided to become one of them.
Doing so I discovered about the spatial qualities of the waiting room. One of the main things is that these places demand tranquility from their visitors. The structures made out of glass makes one feel like sitting in a giant aquarium. It’s like being exposed to the world without being part of it. In the complete silence you could clearly hear every step and breath. This hardly understandable emotion, triggered by the sense of place, makes these waiting rooms exciting spaces. The combination of clean design, minimalism and Calvinist cheapness that characterize these spaces are a typical component of what one may call Dutch Design.