Posts tagged with "amsterdam netherlands":

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UNStudio’s undulant new Arnhem station is now open

In the works for two decades, the new UNStudio-designed train station for Arnhem, Netherlands—the city’s largest post-war development—has finally opened to the public. The 234,000-square-foot transfer hall, which features undulating steel forms reminiscent of Eero Saarinen’s futuristic TWA Terminal design, is a vibrant nexus and a core component of the Arnhem Central Masterplan. The project began in 1996 when UNStudio won a design competition to replace a mid–20th century train station. The building, designed in collaboration with engineering firm Arup, comprises facilities and waiting areas for trains, trolley buses and a bus station, as well as shops, restaurants and a conference center. Two underground levels serve as bicycle storage and car parking. With its unique design, founder and principal architect of UNStudio Ben van Berkel said in a statement that the aim was to "blur distinctions between inside and outside by continuing the urban landscape into the interior of the transfer hall, where ceilings, walls and floors all seamlessly transition into one another.” Skylights make for a space that is infused with natural light, further emphasizing the connection to the outside. The building's curving structure required a departure from typical construction methods and materials. Lightweight steel was employed using boat-building techniques on a scale never before attempted, resulting in a column-free space with a fluid expression. This seamlessness is translated into a complex network of ramps that move people around the station with ease and elegance. Additionally, purposeful lighting was designed to aid wayfinding. According to Van Berkel, the transfer hall “directs and determines how people use and move around the building.” The new station serves as a link between the city center, the Coehoorn area, and a nearby office plaza, and is designed to accommodate a daily flow of 110,000 commuters by 2020, establishing itself as not just a train station, but as a vital nucleus for Arnhem and for the Netherlands.
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Here’s how Amsterdam built an archipelago to solve its housing crunch

Amsterdam’s overflow population will soon have a roof over its head—and artificial sand bars beneath its feet. Europe’s boldest engineering and housing program yet proposes a series of artificial islands built over Ijmeer Lake, with shoreline houses occupying sand bars made using a so-called “pancake method.” The local vernacular refers to a method of spraying sand through porous screens to form a layer of batter-like sludge. As the layer settles and drains through the fine mesh, it hardens and another layer is sprayed on top. Pancake by pancake, the artificial island rises until it is six-and-a-half feet above water level. So far, six of the total 10 planned islands are complete, although not entirely built up or populated to maximum capacity. The islands are covered with low and medium-rise housing and self-build plots, while floating homes flank its edges. The three main islands contain urban streets and mid-rise buildings, with the smaller islets between the main islands and the coasts featuring a more suburban character. On the islets, low-rise single-family homes line the shore, which will soon receive a cover of foliage and reed banks. Each island is thin in order to maximize views of the Ijmeer, but environmentalists still bristle at the threat posed to one of the scenic highlights of the Netherlands – also a vital habitat for birds. Construction of the final four islands, knowns as Ijburg Phase II, is finally due to commence after an interval of more than a decade. Officials commend the interim between Phases I and II as a learn-and-grow buffer against construction pitfalls associated with the pancake method. In bad weather, the screens holding the island’s shape would rip and leach sludge onto the lake bottom, threatening the integrity of the island and the mussel beds below. To avoid these goof-ups for the next big island on the assembly line, called Center Island (Centrumieland), the Dutch government amassed public input for a year while consulting with the Amsterdam Architecture Center. Slated to begin construction in 2017, after the last pancake layer dries, Center Island will host 1,000–1,200 homes. A range of local architects undertook designs for housing across the various islands, from MaccreanorLavington  to Atelier Kempe Thill, VMX, and Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer. A 1,967-foot breakwater has been built to the east of the island to protect the sludge screens by sheltering them from the current. Future islands will feature more vegetation cover, with more low than high-rise settlements and a band of green around their fringes to preserve lakeside views. Meanwhile, developers have considered a uniform implementation of solar cells and district heating, while ceding more real estate to self-builders, who are more likely to install well-insulated, eco-friendly heating and wastewater systems. Today, three more islets called Outer, Middle and Beach Islands (Buiteneiland, Middeneiland and Strandeiland) are also in the pipeline. The first island was inhabited in 2002, and the city’s tram network extended to the islands in 2005, bringing the former backwater within 15 minutes of Amsterdam’s Central Station.