In Pictures: Calatrava’s Liège-Guillemins train station

In 2007 I was railing my way around Benelux when I passed through Liège-Guillemins station. The station was undergoing a transformative reconstruction that looked so out of the ordinary that I knew would have to come back to see the finished work.

Liège-Guillemins station
[Liège-Guillemins station]

Before I even knew anything about the station one name sprang to mind – Calatrava. Actually it might have been one name and a few words that came to mind…OMG, Liege has a Calatrava!

Santiago Calatrava is a Spanish architect who has become something of a superstar in the architect world. He has a very distinct style of using arching white rib-like beams and columns. While each of his projects are different, his signature style makes any building he has designed as identifiable as “a Calatrava.” His latest project is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City, so yeah, he’s kind of a big deal.

Liège-Guillemins station platform escalators
[Platform escalators]

As I was travelling around Europe with a Eurail pass and I happened to be in Belgium, I made a detour out to Leige to revisit the station. It was a rainy day and I have visited Leige before so I had no problem spending my time there just wandering the station. I had an hour to spare before the next train back to Brussels so I had enough time to admire this monumental structure.

IC train at Liège-Guillemins station
[InterCity Train at Liège-Guillemins station]

Liège-Guillemins from the platform
[Liège-Guillemins looking up]

Thalys departing Liège-Guillemins station
[Thalys fast train leaving the station]

Platform clock - Liège-Guillemins station
[Platform clock]

Liège-Guillemins station roof
[Station roof]

Liège-Guillemins station underpass
[Stylish platform underpass]

Calatrava ground plaque at Liège-Guillemins station
[A monument marking the work of Calatrava on a ground plaque outside the station]

Liège-Guillemins tilt-shift
[Liège-Guillemins toy town train station (tilt-shift effect)]

I must have been to over one hundred European train stations in my life time. While most of my favourite stations are of the classic grand station variety, I would put Liège-Guillemins in my top train stations of Europe list.

What is your favourite train station in Europe? And have you seen any other Calatrava buildings?

Travel Photos: Liege Photo Gallery

I travelled to Liege via rail thanks to Eurail.com as part of my My Grand Tour of Europe with Eurail. The content and photos used in this series are my own opinion.

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Comments

  1. says

    Calatrava is one of my favorite all time architects. I’m kind of his harmless stalker – made trips to Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, Rioja’s Ysios Bodegas, and Venice to see the Constitution Bridge (probably his only work that I don’t absolutely love.)

    Great photos! I’ll have to make my way to Leige now!

  2. says

    Kim, there is a Calatrava coming to Denver! A hotel, train station and two bridges are under construction at Denver International Airport. You’ll have to go and take pictures for me.

    • says

      Ooo, thanks for letting me know! I just checked out some of the designs and though they were altered, they still look like they’ll be quite impressive. Too bad they couldn’t just keep the original plans.

  3. says

    I went to Valencia just because I wanted to see the City of Arts and Sciences. It was worth it and I also found a great city. He designed a Train/Bus/Subway station in Lisbon that was really cool too. One of my favorite archtects.

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