Since 1996 Benthem Crouwel Architects is working on the masterplan future of Amsterdam Central Station. Amsterdam Centraal is to be radically expanded and renovated in order to render it capable of processing 300.000 travellers each day, ten times the number of train passengers for whom Pierre Cuypers designed the 1889 station building. In behalf of this increasing number of travellers, Amsterdam Centraal will be transformed into an efficient and comfortable transport node offering a smooth transit between railway, metro, bus, tram, ferry and bike.
Stationseiland, the island on which Amsterdam Central Station stands, is to be transformed into an efficient and attractive public transport hub that will get a powerful boost with the arrival of the North-South metro line, the high-speed rail link and a new bus terminal. The Stationsplein (station square) will be reserved for pedestrians and trams, having been purged of all obstacles and paved with granite. Motorized traffic will be using an underground tunnel along the waters of the IJ. Buses will also arrive and leave from a new bus terminal on the IJ side of the station. This makes the Prins Hendrikkade a low traffic area and creates the possibility for a crossing-free pedestrian route between the station and the Dam. To emphasize the island character and to create more space for the canal boats the historical Open Havenfront (harbour front) will be widened. With the redesign of the Stationsplein Amsterdam will get the gateway it deserves.
Historical station hall
P.H.C. Cuypers' old railway station is upgraded to a traffic hub with clearly demarcated zones for meeting and greeting, services, information, transfer, transport and commerce. This gives it clarity of organization so travellers can find their way with ease. With the renovation of the historic station building the monument is restored to its former glory, while new additions remain clearly recognizable as contemporary. The renovation of the Cuypers building will be completed in 2016.
Middentunnel (Middle tunnel)
The new Middentunnel, designed by Benthem Crouwel in collaboration with Merk X, was taken into use in 2013. It offers abundant space for passengers and includes shop units with glass facades for commercial facilities. The tunnel is finished in light materials that connect it with the historic station building. The design of the tunnel and the new platform entrances help the travellers to easily find their way to the platforms.
Poortvrije passages (Gate free passages)
The station which will be closed off by public transport gates in the future, except for two new passages through the station. These two Poortvrije passages, the West and East passage, will house a distinctive range of shops and restaurants and are furnished as a pleasant place to stay, away from the hustle and bustle of the travel domain. The design for the Poortvrije passages distinguishes them from the travel area. The design was drawn up by Benthem Crouwel in collaboration with Powerhouse Company and Merk X. The West Passage will be taken into use in 2015, the East Passage in 2016.
IJhal (IJ Hall)
The IJhal is easily accessible from the IJ boulevard and the piers for the rapidly increasing traffic on the IJ. Two new roofed station forecourts on the east and west side of the IJhal provide good access for the ‘Kiss and Ride’. Furthermore a taxi stand will be constructed here. The new IJhal presents a natural counterpart to Cuypers' original station concourse and makes the connection with the new neighbourhoods along the IJ and in Amsterdam Noord. Here, travellers can effortlessly transfer between bus, metro, train, boat/ferry and taxi. There is space for larger shops and the hospitality sector that can also be reached directly from outside. The view across the water makes the IJhal very special; a city lobby where you can meet, wait or shop. Not just a transport building, the station is a destination in itself. The design of the IJhal is created by Wiel Arets Architects based on the master plan of Benthem Crouwel.
Langzaamverkeerspassage (Slow traffic passage)
To connect the route for cyclists from the city centre smoothly with the cycle path along the IJ and the ferries to Amsterdam Noord, the Langzaamverkeerspassage is constructed. Via this tunnel cyclists and pedestrians can reach the IJ in a straight line from the Martelaarsgracht at the front of the station. There is ample room for separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. The clarity and simplicity make the passage safe and easy to navigate. The route through the tunnel is accompanied by an artwork by Irma Boom, inspired by 18th-century Delftware tiles. The Langzaamverkeerspassage is expected to be operational in 2015.
The new bus terminal will connect the buses directly to the train and metro transport networks. To this end, the bus platform is connected to the train platforms at the same level. The largely glazed (fourth) hood covers the pedestrian area at the IJ. The new roof matches well with the 19th-century structure and is a contemporary version of the three existing roofs. It strengthens the quality of the existing building. With the new 365-metre-long station roof, Amsterdam Noord gets its own front side and is drawn into the city centre experience via the IJhal. The new Stationseiland forms a bridge between the old city and the urbanized water landscape of the IJ. The bus terminal is already partially taken into use.
With the transformation of the Station Island, Amsterdam gets a welcoming and efficient station with special allure by the combination of historic and contemporary elements.
City of Amsterdam
Benthem Crouwel Architects
Masterplan in cooperation with