Projects

Poortvrije Passages at Amsterdam Central Station - Amsterdam

Crossing the station on foot or by bike

The new bicycle and pedestrian underpass allows travellers to cross Amsterdam Central Station in complete safety
Architect
Merk-X Architecten, Benthem Crouwel Architects,
Surfaces
REFIN
Year of completion
2017

The IJ-passage tunnel allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross from one side of the Amsterdam central station to the other in complete safety in under a minute. Opened in 2015 and concluded in early 2017 with the completion of the second tunnel, it is a cycle and pedestrian underpass with length of 110 metres, height of 3 metres and width of about 10 metres. It provides access to the ferry terminals and bike parking garages located behind the station and takes less than a minute to cross, simplifying logistics for the thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who move around the Dutch city every day. The IJ-passage bike and pedestrian tunnel is the first section of the Amsterdam Passages project developed by Merk-X Architecten, Benthem Crouwel Architects and Powerhouse Company. Work began in 2011, and although the project had been completed for some time, the tunnel remained closed until the official opening date due to safety concerns. The numerous safety tests had failed to convince many Amsterdam residents of the suitability of running a cycle path through a public space, prompting protests to the city council. For this reason, the area is constantly monitored by video cameras and stewards are present to supervise users in the event of overcrowding. A lighting system has been installed to ensure that the end of the tunnel is clearly visible from every point inside and to avoid the formation of dark corners. The footpath and cycle path are clearly separated by a strip of light which acts as a safety system. Inside Amsterdam Central Station, the project is divided into two separate but interconnected passages. The first is devoted to luxury shopping and houses numerous boutiques and exclusive fashion stores in a meticulously designed architectural setting. Contemporary design and classical influences, traditional elements and hi-tech solutions, well-designed lighting and artisanal details all come together to offer a highly immersive experience. The second passage houses bars and restaurants serving a wide range of fresh food and contemporary cuisine. Both areas are elegant, pleasant places to take time out away from crowds of passengers, while noise is considerably reduced by the use of sound-absorbing materials. The main axis is marked by concrete columns with a glossy finish, marble benches and the glass and steel beams of the storefronts. Chromed finishings, stone cladding and dark materials bring to mind the nocturnal atmosphere of a romantic street, further enhanced by the 1920s-style lanterns mounted on the columns. The visual effect is completed by a large mural with hand-painted ceramic tiles reproducing a local eighteenth-century artwork. The material selected for the entire 3,700 square metre floor is Refin’s Trail porcelain tile collection, chosen here in the Dark version. This line of wood-effect tiles recreates the unique visual and tactile appeal of natural timber. The oak finish in particular conveys a sensation of strength and durability, ideal for use in this high-traffic cycle and pedestrian area.

Tiles
Refin, Trail collection
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
18x122 cm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,2%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Resiste
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
LEED
NF UPEC
SASO
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