Architectural studio GROUP A and multi-disciplinary design agency Fabrique together have won the European tender for the renovation of the stations of Oostlijn of the Amsterdam Metro. According to the jury, the proposal by GROUP A / Fabrique not only ‘returns to the basics of the original design’, but is also ‘a vision for the future ‘, and thus the answer to the client’s request. On September the 23rd 2010, the design has been presented to the City Council.
The Oostlijn runs from the Central Station to Amsterdam Zuid-Oost, partially underground and partially elevated. The brutalist design for the Oostlijn, by architects Spängberg and Van Rhijn, dates back to the seventies. Over the years, however, the original concept has become muddled, the Oostlijn is no longer equipped to face the future. The commission for the renovation includes the refurbishment of the underground platforms, the hallways and the entrances of sixteen stations. For the tender phase we were asked to illustrate our vision by using two stations as examples: the underground station Wibautstraat, and the elevated station Bullewijk. Currently, we are applying this vision to all 16 individual stations; after consultations with the different stakeholders, we will then proceed to the final design stage.
According to GROUP A / Fabrique, the aim of the renovation is to create a modern metro system which functions adequately, is comprehensibly organised, and pleasant to use. This is achieved without denying the original character of the metro. Instead, this existing ‘DNA’ functions as a solid and neutral background for the renovation. Through indirect lighting of the background, the metros’ spaces will feel more comfortable. Well positioned light accents and voids enhance the travellers’ orientation. All ‘cluttering’ elements will be integrated in functional clusters. These clusters provide clarity and colour, and are adaptable to future changes. Through these interventions, the Oostlijn will once more become functional, comprehensible, and a pleasant addition to public space in Amsterdam.
In the past couple of years, GROUP A has worked on a number of renovation projects, like the CaballeroFabriek, the Coberco Factory and the former NDSM iron works. Fabrique has extensive experience in developing visions, corporate identities, signage and furniture for infrastructure projects, and has also worked for the Dutch Railways and Belgian transport company De Lijn. Together, GROUP A and Fabrique complement and strengthen each other to find an appropriate answer to the given task.
The renovation of the stations by GROUP A / Fabrique is part of a larger plan to renovate the entire Amsterdam Metro system by the DIVV. The Oostlijn (which comprises the 53 line from Central Station to Gaasperplas and the 54 line from Central Station to Gein) is thirty years old. After all these years, many parts of the Oostlijn are in need of replacement. The tracks in the underground tunnel system have already been replaced in 2008. The coming years will see the improvement of the emergency exits and fire safety measures, and the renovation of all underground and elevated stations. In 2014, when all these measures have taken effect, the Oostlijn will comply with all new rules and regulations.
+ Project credits / data
Project: Renovation of the Stations of Oostlijn of the Amsterdam Metro
Client: DIVV, Gemeente Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Team GROUP A: Maarten van Bremen, Folkert van Hagen, Adam Visser, Suzanne Linders, Maarten Lever, Chris Woltjes, Tuomas Jarvinen, Jacek Szczegielniak, Anna Szczegielniak, Qian Ren, Pia Fischer en Engin Kinsiz
Team Fabrique: Jeroen van Erp, René Bubberman, Merijn Hillen, Floor Baas, Chris Nijkamp, Iraas Korver en Frank van Leeuwen