In collaboration with Railinfra Solutions, the architects ZJA designed the expansion of the GVB Depot in Diemen, The Netherlands. Due to the procurement of new and extended light rail rolling stock by the GVB, it was necessary to extend the various depots at the GVB location Diemen.
The ensemble of extensions has an architecture that leaves the existing buildings in their value, and does not compete with the Main Depot.
The facades of the extensions are mainly finished with anthracite-coloured corrugated iron sheets. These are abstract and reserved. The daylight openings in the facades are minimal and are fully aligned with the processes on-going at the depot. The architecture of the extensions is not limited to only the exterior. The architecture’s main aim is mostly to best optimize the interior of the building for testing and maintaining the rolling stock in an as pleasant as possible environment for the mechanics.
A spatial quality of the Main Depot is the use of skylight openings, which are fully integrated into the architecture. Through these openings, daylight enters deep into the building. The quality of day lighting returns to the new extensions by applying elongated skylights. To create a spatially and visually tranquil working space, the ceiling is kept as free as possible of installation components. These components are integrated in the elongated skylights. The skylights so provide a means to organizing the extension in a pleasant and well-arranged manner. The skylights are present in each building element of the extension, and so ensure consistency in form.
The combination of the striking skylights and an abstract finish of the facades gives the extension and the new buildings a contemporary, industrial characteristic look that fits well with the objectives of the extension and well as the overall architecture.