Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA Station shortlisted for Stirling Prize
“There is something heroic about the project,” say RIBA, “Formally heroic in that a complex and large chunk of city has been grasped and made sense of; operationally heroic in that two practices - one Dutch the other English – have come together with the city of Amsterdam to make this happen.”
The Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA Station is a colossal 6,456,000 sq ft rail station which has been transformed through the collaboration of Arcadis of the Netherlands and Grimshaw of the UK and an injection of £29.3 million. Prior to the construction the station split the east and west of the city with a commercial development and stadium to the west and to the east a residential area highly populated with Amsterdam's immigrant workers. The new design raised the rail tracks creating a pedestrianised plaza crossing underneath the lines through viaducts and adjoining the east and west.
Throughout the construction process the station was required to stay open due to a peak time traffic of 25,000 travellers every 90 minutes. This necessity informed the entire design of the project with an extra track being built which would accommodate the lines that needed to close.
Touted paradoxically as a comfortable space for travellers the design incorporates civility into the design by allowing maximum light into the space through the modulated glazing in the vast roof space. Oregon pine surfaces are acoustically absorbent creating a more peaceful environment.
Niki May Young