Zuidasdok is one of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the Netherlands. It includes widening and moving the A10 ring road underground, as well as renovating Amsterdam South railway station. The aim of the project is to significantly improve access to the Zuidas, and boost the urban quality of this southern district of Amsterdam. The railway station is a key element in this effort.
The Zuidas district was largely developed in the 1980s, after the municipality earmarked areas on both sides of the railway tracks and southern ring road as a development location for offices. In the years that followed, the Zuidas developed into an international business district with office towers oriented towards the motorway. The station area however was increasingly being regarded as a barrier towards the inner city, with heavy road- and railway traffic and an underwhelming railway station. Today, the Zuidas is rapidly evolving into a high-density employment and residential district, where cyclists and pedestrians form the dominant traffic flow. The new Amsterdam South station is the final instalment in a series of large-scale railway station upgrades in the Netherlands, of which Rotterdam Central Station was the first, transforming station areas into well connected and vibrant city districts.
In the new station, the tunnel with stairs rising to the train and metro platforms has been widened to form a rejuvenated, naturally lit urban arcade with shops, eateries and bicycle storage. The arcade is accessible to pedestrians and transit passengers alike, and is defined at both ends by tall canopies with shiny aluminum surfaces and green roofs. A second, slightly narrower arcade with similar amenities leads directly to a new tram stop on the southern side and bus stop on the northern side. The two arcades and the new plinth form the station square, offering a covered walkway beneath and around the tracks. This pedestrian area with commercial amenities forms the starting point for further urban development in the heart of the Zuidas district.
Lowering the A10 motorway into a tunnel frees up space above ground for an additional railway track and importantly, more greenery. The incline on both sides of the station square features a stepped, green landscape with seating which transforms gradually into a green median strip along the highway extending to Amstel and Schinkel. The platform roofs and sound barriers are also detailed with greenery, giving the Zuidas the character of an urban green corridor.