The competition for the IJhal in Amsterdam announced its first place winner, Wiel Arets Architects, on 8 October, 2010. The project will entail the construction of a pedestrian-centric area adjacent to the existing Centraal Station in Amsterdam along the River IJ waterfront.
The new addition will act as a synthesis between Amesterdam North and the rest of the city, which historically has been seperated by the River IJ.
More images and information after the break.
Wiel Arets Architects proposed competition entry unites tourists and residents of Amsterdam by creating an accessible environment that caters as an entry to the city and a commercial destination for consumers. The design provides a pedestrian destination to an otherwise isolated area of the city that borders the Centraal Station and the River IJ. The Centraal Station is a transportation hub that houses train, metro and bus lines and has historically been an isolated zone that borders the River IJ’s waterfront.
The IJhal is the first step to integrating the city. With the addition of a North-South metro line, the connection will be strengthened to ultimately break down the barrier. The new center is an effort to substantially engage the river, visually and physically by making it accessible to both visitors to the city and residents of Amsterdam. A strong North-South visual axis through Wiel Arets Architects’ winning proposal has the potential to promote the connection between users of the station and the users of commercial outlets with the river. The proposal extends the transportation hub to the waterfront through the IJhal by providing gastronomical outlets along the river’s edge by incorporating seating and recreation along the previously undeveloped area.
The architects have sought to engage every surface of the IJhal center to function as a compliment to the existing Centraal Station. The design develops a way to clear congestion at intersections of the IJhal center by creating subtle pattern shifts on the floor’s surface of polished circles to keep pedestrians in constant motion. Further reference to the River IJ and its properties can be found in the fixtures and elements of the architecture. The ceiling will be covered round-mirrored stainless steel elements whose effect will mimic the reflective quality of the water further blending the exterior condition with the interiority of the IJhal and the Centraal Station. Above the IJhal, the new bus terminal will have voids adjacent to stairs and escalators, elaborated by hanging gardens in a continual effort to reference exterior elements. The waterfront facade of the IJhal is a printed glass surface, operating as a transparent screen that looks out onto the river making the waterfront in constant view from the interior hall.
Wiel Arets Architects’ entry has also given potential for the Centraal Station to expand its transportation hub into the water, giving function to the waterfront as a mooring zone for recreational boats and possibly a floating swimming. The future of the River IJ and the center is open to extension as the waterfront continues to develop.