Jannes Linders and Koninklijke Tichelaar B.V.

Cycle and pedestrian tunnel Central Station , Amsterdam

Jaar: 2011-2015
Locatie: Amsterdam
Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architekten/ Merkx + Girod/ Irma Boom Office
Designer: Irma Boom
Benthem Crouwel Architects
Opdrachtgever: ProRail/City Amsterdam
Projecttype: architecture
Product: 70,000 tiles, 130 x 130 mm shaped and painted by hand
This 110 metre long cycle and pedestrian tunnel at the Central Station in Amsterdam, designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects in association with Merkx + Girod, is composed of two C-shaped sections so that pedestrians are kept separate from the cyclists. The tunnel is a link between the IJ lake and the inner city and Irma Boom’s design for its decoration consists of a highly enlarged picture of an eighteenth-century tile scene by Cornelis Bouwmeester, which the designer has positioned in several ways to create an impressive contemporary image. She approached Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum at an early stage to develop its production.

This exceptional design by Irma Boom covers the floor, the walls and the ceiling. The starting point for the design was a tile scene by Cornelis Bouwmeester, which our company had previously restored for the Rijksmuseum. The first 20 metres consist of a greatly enlarged reproduction of the scene. The rest of the tile cladding in the tunnel consists of a repeat of this picture in which the image gradually fades and from the middle of the tunnel in the direction of the IJ, dissolves into a contemporary abstract image of the original. The design was painted entirely by hand onto handmade tiles in the traditional Old Holland format of 130 x 130 mm, which has been made at our factory for more than three centuries. We have developed the cladding so that it complies with all the specific requirements of the location. For instance, the sea clay we would normally use was for this project replaced by a bought-in clay fired at a higher temperature in order to create a frost-resistant and wear-resistant product. Since every tile has a precise position in the tunnel, for this project we also took on the fixing of the tiles as part of the assignment.
This unique tunnel, which links 'the IJ'  to the Amsterdam city center was openend on 21 November 2015.
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