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M55 Metro Connection

Baca Architects for Mott MacDonald

A new 20km metro line is planned to support urban growth in eastern Amsterdam and in Almere, where over 25,000 new homes are proposed. It will provide a fast and efficient connection between major developments planned for IJburg, phase 2 and Almere Pampus. Baca Architects worked with an international consortium led by Mott MacDonald Netherlands to develop a detailed study into the feasibility of this connection; on behalf of the Operating Company Almere Amsterdam (WAA). Similar in scale and ambition to the crossrail project in London (in which Mott MacDonald are also providing multi-disciplinary engineering advice) it will include major new innovations, such as:

• The world’s first ‘sail and ride’ station;
• A 9km tunnel below the inland lake, to preserve views, habitat and navigation;
• Two bio-engineered tunnel portals, one a wetlands archipelago, the other coastal sand dunes and beach front promenade;
• Integrated spatial plan for the new development of Almere Pampus, planned around green and blue infrastructure
• A sustainable island, formed from the excavation for the tunnel;
• An elevated sports park;

As part of the consortium, Baca Architects has developed integrated landscape, architecture and public realm proposals along various sensitive waterside settings and tunnel portals, along with spatial concepts for 25,000 new homes in Almere Pampus and Pampus island and developing the designs for the sail and ride station. Zwarts and Jansma Architekten have developed the design of the infrastructure and other stations and concept for the elevated sports park.

Architect’s comments:

‘The new M55 line will create a high-speed convenient new connection between major new developments in Amsterdam and Almere, with an interesting journey for it’s passengers through several distinctive areas. The line will run along a green corridor and linear park from Almere to the new sand dunes and beach promenade on the coast. From the coast it will descend under the IJmeer lake, arriving at the new sail and ride station, at the centre of a Dutch canal. From here it will continue on, rising out of a landscaped wetland tunnel portal and over the Reinkanal on it’s way towards Amsterdam-South.

The new island could be the Riviera or Amalfi of IJmeer and Amsterdam, a fantastic modern and sustainable destination, perfect for inhabitants with a love for water.

The route has been very carefully considered to maximise passenger numbers, support new urban areas and preserve and enhance the waterside and water habitat.’