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Cinema & catering Station district

Location: Arnhem

Client: Pathé Theatres BV

Facade: Powerhouse Company

Renderings: A2 Studio

Phase: Construction completed

Arnhem’s city centre now features a modern Pathé cinema with a unique IMAX auditorium, accompanied by high-quality catering facilities—located right in the middle of the station district.


We started this project by developing an urban model for the integration of the cinema within the station area. The existing urban plan created by UNStudio included an office building and a residential tower. In consultation with UNStudio, we designed the urban mass and integration of the new building.


Generating interaction

The guiding principle was to create pleasant routes throughout the city, facilitating interaction between the cinema and the city’s visitors. Our aim was to make the cinema highly visible, including an attractive plinth.


The shape of the building is characterized by rounded corners and a striking volume structure, where low volume gradually evolves into high volume. Circular segments connect straight lines, creating a transition between the organic design of the station and the more orthogonal forms of the city centre.


The building constitutes the link between the station and the inner city, but also marks a transition between the higher located Nieuwe Stationsstraat and the lower located Oude Stationsstraat. This applies even more to the commercial plinth, housing multiple catering establishments. A city balcony with benches and a large tree have been added to the roof of this building section. On the north side, the first floor of the cinema connects to Nieuwe Stationsstraat.


Logical and pleasant

A central theme in the interior design was to create logical and pleasant routes throughout the cinema. We designed the traffic flows of incoming and outgoing visitors in such a way that they only converge where desired. The ground floor, first and second floor are spatially connected by voids.


The entrance to the building is located on the southwest side, facing the new central station. The lower part of the cinema is home to the event hall, which offers a splendid view of the station square.


Access to the various parts of the building is centrally organized with escalators, leading visitors to the other eight cinema rooms found on the higher floors. The number of seats varies per auditorium, between 135 and 214, with a total of approximately 1,680 seats.


A stacked lay-out

A characteristic feature of the cinema are its stacked auditoriums. The large IMAX-room with 320 seats is located at the bottom of the building, showing the major films with the largest number of visitors. This auditorium is the only one in Northwest Europe that has been designed entirely according to IMAX’s specifications.


This part of the building houses four additional cinema rooms and measures twelve meters in height, with a large half-timbered construction spanning the IMAX-auditorium. The entrance to the rooms is located at the top of the grandstand. The restrooms and installation rooms are located between the auditoriums, underneath the stands.


Gradual transitions

For the design of the facade, we called in the expertise of Powerhouse Company from Rotterdam. By applying different masonry bonds and brick colours, the masonry exterior is characterized by a gradual shift from rough to smooth and from dark to light. Facade openings are designed as elongated band windows, featuring a smooth transition from masonry to glass.


In addition, we collaborated with Naço Architectures, Pathé’s regular interior architect from France. They designed the layout of the public areas, including a corresponding colour scheme. Light ON was responsible for the building’s lighting design.

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