Renovation of 18 metro stations on the Eastern Line

The metro stations on the Oostlijn (‘Eastern Line’) in Amsterdam date from the 1970s and no longer come up to modern specifications. The existing station buildings are in urgent need of refurbishment: they are not vandal-proof and are renowned for being typified as socially unsafe spaces. After a ‘pilot project’ in the form of the refurbishment of the Ganzenhoef metro station in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost, all 18 metro stations are to be redeveloped. This operation was dubbed ‘MetroMorphosis’.

Some metro stations are underground, while others are aboveground. Improvement of the travellers’ sense of safety and comfort is an important precept for the design of the stations. Making pedestrian routes as short as possible, removing obstacles that obstruct the view, and avoiding niches and dark corners help to achieve this. In addition, a ‘secure system’ will be introduced, with turnstiles at all platform entrances and exits so that it is only possible to access the metro network with a valid ticket.

In the case of the aboveground stations the goal was obstacle-free platforms. Where possible the stations are covered with a spacious, column-free structure. The heavy wooden canopy on solid columns will be replaced with a slender steel structure with plenty of glass. This will afford the platforms plenty of daylight while making them open and easy to survey.

At the Ganzenhoef station the existing lift will be replaced with a diagonal glass lift. The old lift stood between the two existing stairways and obstructed the view between the hallway and the platform. The new lift follows the incline of the escalators in order to avoid unsafe waiting areas at the top and bottom.

The individual stations will be related in terms of form and use of materials, but will have their own particular identity to distinguish the individual stops. Extra facilities are planned alongside the interventions to make the stations easier to survey. Shops and kiosks stimulate more business activity in the station hallways, which is advantageous for the mechanism of social control.

Various forms of modern media will be used to contribute to the social safety at the stations. There is a proposal to project live CCTV images of passengers onto the tunnel walls of underground stations. The passengers then know that they are being observed. The same projectors that transmit the security camera images could be used to display announcements for cultural activities in the proximity of the metro station.