On the 1st of June, 2015, the IJ-passage of the Amsterdam Passages project has been officially opened at Amsterdam Central Station. This is the first of two new, gate-free passageways through Amsterdam Central Station, in the future to be secured with public transport fare gates. Designed by Powerhouse Company in collaboration with Benthem Crowel Architects and Merk X, the Amsterdam Passages are provided with a distinctive, elegant offer of shops and restaurants.
The Passages distinctive character is reflected by the selection of high-end retailers and a matching architectural approach. Attracted by full-width LED introductory screens, escalators and brass-edged steps, visitors are guided through three historic brick arches into the new 3,700m² underground shopping area. Inside, contemporary blends with classic, traditional with high-tech. The Passages’ design is based around creating a sumptuous and immersive experience through finely crafted details, ambient lighting and intimate ceiling heights. The addition of a champagne bar counter and beautifully displayed objects in shop windows attribute to class and experience.
Glass and timber or steel shop façades run on either side of a generous concourse towards the IJ-river. For these façades inspiration was drawn from old shop fronts in city centres, fraternally juxtaposing individual façades to form a single flowing handwriting. A colour sequence has been specifically developed to highlight the individual shops within the row. Along the central axis, lantern-topped polished concrete columns intersect the space alternately with bespoke Statuario Venato marble benches. Chrome details, marble cladding and dark materials evoke a romantic street at night, while the striking compressed-glass lighting ornaments around the columns add a hint of 1920s Paris. The benching, integrated with soft leather cushions, encourages visitors to sit back and relax.
The Passages’ ceilings consist of large surfaces left free from the façades, interspersed with remaining parts of the train station’s canopy rafters. In this way also in the passages the railway ambiance keeps exerting its influence. These ceiling surfaces comprise specifically finished, raised narrow strips that withdraw the various devices for lighting, loudspeakers and sprinklers from sight. This leaves the other panels free from technical parts.
The first passage, the IJ-passage, is dedicated to luxury fashion and clothing boutiques. Its dark floor finishing creates the atmosphere and warmth pertaining to a leisure area. The ceramic tile pavement has been finished with yellow brass edges bestowing it with scale, detail and allure. The second passage on the east side, Amstel-passage is expected to be completed at the end of 2016 and focusses on fresh food and contemporary cuisine. After the opening of the IJ-passage, Amsterdam Central Station is to remain freely accessible in spite of the public transport fare gates, providing the station with a unique domain for shopping and lingering.
Client: Ns Stations
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Start Design: 2011
Start Construction: 2014
Completion: June 2015
Gross Floor Area: 3,700Mç
Architects: Benthem Crouwel Architects, Powerhouse Company And Merk X
Project Architects: Jan Benthem (Bca), Nanne De Ru (Phc), Evelyne Merkx (Mx)
Team: Daniel Jongtien (Bca), Mahyar Nikkhoy (Bca), Stijn Kemper (Phc), Paul Staver (Phc), Ard-Jan Lootens (Phc), Stefan De Meijer (Phc), Jeffrey Ouwens (Phc), Jessie Andjelic (Phc), Jan-Willem Wijker (Mx), Mijke De Kok (Mx)
Contractor: Kondor Wessels Amsterdam
Structural Engineering: Vof Stationseiland
Installation Engineering: Deerns
*All images and information courtesy of Powerhouse Company.