Amsterdam opens new metro line with seven stations by Benthem Crouwel Architects

Benthem Crouwel Architects has designed seven new metro stations for the new Noord/Zuidlijn line through Amsterdam, which opened this week.

Amsterdammers and tourists alike can now traverse the six mile north-south route through the city in just 15 minutes, 22 years after the project began.

Dutch architecture firm Benthem Crouwel Architects has designed seven stations for the route, two above ground and five below.

Design work began on Station Noord, Station Noorderpark, Centraal Station, Station Rokin, Station Vijzelgracht, Station De Pijp, and Station Europaplein in 1996, with construction starting in 2003.

Benthem Crouwel Architects said they created the stations as a “new public layer” for the city, mirroring the canals and streets that traverse it at surface level.

Station entrances have been left uncovered, with escalators leading directly to entrance halls that in turn have direct views of the track to create a sense of continuous public space.

All the stations have been designed to be distinctive, but are all unified by plans that make it as easy and fast as possible to travel from street level to train carriage.

The architects originally won the contract back in 1995 with plans that created paths to platforms like underground streets, rather than labyrinthine passages.

In order to help maintain each of the stations’ appearances the materials used throughout were chosen to being easy to clean and replace.

Clear materials were installed and deliberate lighting choices made to ensure the stations are well lit and feel safe to use.

Constructing the new underground train line 25 metres deep in Amsterdam’s boggy soil provided plenty of construction challenges. When the city was founded in 1300 it was on reclaimed land, and houses were built on stilts.

Advances in boring technology made in the past few decades made tunnelling deep under the city without disturbing the unstable soil possible.

At the new Station Rokin 700,000 artefacts that were discovered during the process of excavating the tunnels have been displayed in a large glass case between the escalators.

In Sydney, Foster + Partners has won the contract to design seven new stations for the metro line currently being excavated under the harbour, and in Paris BIG has designed a new looping station for the metro.

London is currently waiting for the opening of its new underground railway line Crossrail, which will run from east to west under the whole city.

Photos by Jannes Linders.

Project credits:

Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architect
Client: Municipality of Amsterdam
Project team: Jan Benthem, Mels Crouwel, Joost Vos, Marten Wassmann, Saartje van der Made, Pascal Cornips, Daniel Jongtien, Peter Alberts, Saskia Andringa, Joop van de Beek, Aad van Berkel, Sergio Bostdorp, Jurriaan de Bruijn, Jasper Bus, Frank Deltrap, Marleen van Driel, Amir Farokhian, Bregje de Groot, Willem Jan van der Gugten, Michael Jaggoe, Jeroen Jonk, Leonardo Kappel, Klary Koopmans, Lucas Kukler, Volker Krenz, Jerome Latteux, Ton Liemburg, Mahyar Nikkhoy, Joost van Noort, Bas den Older, Bart Polman, Roy van Rijk, Pieter Rijpstra, Henk van Rossum, Andries Ruizendaal, Philip Rutten, Job Schroën, André Staalenhoef, Maurice van der Steen, Ronno Stegeman, Jan-Dirk Valewink, Nico de Waard, Carel Weber, Jos Wesselman, Heymen Westerveld, Joep Windhausen, Cees Zuidervaart
Engineer: Adviesbureau Noord/Zuidlijn (IBA, Witteveen+Bos, Royal HaskoningDHV)
Contractor: Structural work by Max Bogl, Dura Vermeer, Heijmans. Completion by VIA Noord/Zuidlijn (Visser & Smit Bouw (VolkerWessels)
Light design: Benthem Crouwel Architects together with Bartenbach

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