Sunday, January 29, 2012

Netherlands Field Trip 2012: Day 4 - Amsterdam and Utrecht

Wednesday 25 January 2012

An early start for the postgrads - they left on a trip to Utrecht Central Station. Meanwhile the undergrads had a more leisurely start with a walking tour of museums in Amsterdam. Let's start with the postgrads at Utrecht Central Station. 

In 1997 the Dutch Government embarked on an ambitious programme to upgrade the nation's High Speed Train (HST) stations and develop the adjacent areas. These areas, like airports and city centres, are perceived as key sites for attracting international service industries. The Utrecht project is one of the most controversial schemes. More than 20 years in the planning, the redevelopment of Utrecht Central Station and the surrounding area has now begun. Have a look at the Masterplan for Utrecht railway station area and also some images of the development on the website of the architects, Benthem Crouwel.

Utrecht Central Station - photo from www.prorail.nl
Back to the undergrads and Amsterdam. The tour started at the Amsterdam History Museum and took in a number of others along the way. For a full list of museums in Amsterdam look at AmsterdamInfo. The Amsterdam History Museum is housed in a former orphanage founded around 1520 in a house in Kalverstraat. In 1579 it moved to the former St Lucy's convent that once stood on the site of the present museum. This medieval building was gradually demolished and during the 17th century the buildings that you see today were developed. Have a look at the museum website (and ask Google to translate it for you!)

Narrow View by meiburgin
Amsterdam Historical Museum  by Meiburgin via Flickr
The undergraduates then moved on to Bijlmer Station which is located in Bijlmer, a neighbourhood to the south-east of Amsterdam on the train line between Amsterdam and Utrecht. The station was redeveloped following the construction of the new Amsterdam Arena and has created a new pedestrian connection between the stadium and the commercial and housing areas. It is a modern transport hub for trains, metro, buses and taxis. The project was led by Grimshaw Architects - have a look at their website for more information.

Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena by inyucho
Bijlmer Station by Inyucho via Flickr

Everyone then returned to Amsterdam for the last night of the field trip.

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