This Elegant Pedestrian Tunnel Is Not Your Typical Underpass


Cuyperspassage, Amsterdam Central StationPhotography ©Jannes Linders Posted by Benthem Crouwel Architects on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Underpasses aren’t normally considered masterpieces of urban architecture. The structures are known for being dark, dingy, and dangerous, a description that's enough to make some pedestrians reroute after dark. Now, the Dutch are attempting to change that.

The newly-built Cuyperspassage running beneath Amsterdam Central Station, constructed by architects Benthem Crouwel, is a space that bikers and pedestrians may actually enjoy passing through. The 360-foot underpass is brightly lit by LED lights, insulated with a layer of sound-absorbent asphalt beneath the grate, and features rounded corners that make it easy to clean.

Cuyperspassage is split into two distinct parts: a pedestrian passageway on one side and a bike path on the other. The cycling lanes run along a wall of steel grating which is designed to deter litter and flyers. The pedestrian walkway, meanwhile, sits one foot above street level, and features a sleeker look.

About 80,000 Delft Blue tiles adorn the wall, where a mosaic of a 17th century painting by Dutch artist Cornelis Bouwmeester is depicted. The mural—the work of renowned Dutch graphic designer Irma Boom—is incredibly detailed at the start of the passage leading in from the city, then gradually fades into abstract, darker blue tiling.

You can check out more photographs from the project below.

Header image courtesy of Benthem Crouwel via Facebook.

[h/t: Fast Co. Design]