See It: 80,000-Tile Mural On Amsterdam Bike Tunnel

Seems like this was designed as clickbait specifically for me: a nautical-themed public artwork adorning an asymmetrical pedestrian/bike tunnel in Amsterdam.

The Cuyperspassage at Amsterdam Central Station was constructed as a “slow traffic corridor” between the City and the IJ waterway, according to designers Benthem Crouwel Architects. The 360-foot tunnel also boasts a tableau created from 80,000 Delft Blue tiles.

The tunnel is divided between modes of travel, with the pedestrian level set higher than the bikeway. Per Benthem Crouwel:

Pedestrians know where they have to be and feel safe there. Cyclists enjoy the spatial sensation of a rapid through route, accompanied by a continuous run of LED lamps along the raised edge of the footpath.

The pedestrian side gets the tile tableau, which was designed by Irma Boom Office based on a work by Rotterdam tile painter Cornelis Boumeester. As pedestrians and cyclists approach the river, the artwork fades to blue.

The bikeway is made from sound-absorbing asphalt and steel gratings, which are apparently immune to flyers and discourage graffiti.

“The idea was to distinguish the two different worlds of fast and slow traffic,” Benthem Crouwel’s Joost Vos told The Spaces. “The contrast became visually very appealing.”

I have to agree:

“There is a difference whether you are walking alongside a wall, or cycling with a higher speed with a focus on the horizon,” Vos added for The Spaces. “When walking, the scale is smaller – the tiles enhance that cosy feeling, which is quite unique in a tunnel.”

The following photos were pulled from a collection at Benthem Crouwel’s website.

h/t Colossal