Striking concrete formwork for De Entree bicycle parking

The biggest municipality in the Netherlands, a leading German construction company and a Dutch mould builder - these are the ingredients for an international collaboration to construct a new bicycle parking. The parking facility forms part of the De Entree renovation project on the centre side of Amsterdam Central Station. Max Bögl, responsible for implementing Project De Entree, engaged Hendriks precon to produce formwork to realise the iconic columns in the bicycle parking.

Renovation of Amsterdam CS centre side

The centre side of Amsterdam Central Station is being renovated. The total area from the station building to Damrak and from Kamperbrug to Droogbak is being renovated over a five-year period. Project De Entree was awarded to contractor Max Bögl. With the project, the municipality aims to make the entire area more organised and attractive. The water surface area is being expanded for this and construction is underway for a new underground bicycle parking for 7,000 bicycles. All tram lines and stops will be adapted for people with an impairment. Following all these works, the historic site in front of central station will be an attractive area for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Bicycle parking

De Entree bicycle parking is located between Prins Hendrikkade and the Stationsplein over nine metres below ground level and below the water surface. The height difference will be bridged by a grand entrance where users are transported downstairs on moving walkways. The moving walkways will run along a wall finished as quay wall with a flowing form of craggy basalt stone. The bicycle parking itself will have an entirely sleek and flowing look. The slender columns with striking teardrop form will contribute to this look – the architect’s playful reference to the underwater location.

Craftsmanship and inventiveness

Max Bögl approached Hendriks precon about producing these double-curved columns. The columns are three metres in height. In the large open parking area they fulfil an important visibility and identification function. That’s why the architect set high requirements on the concrete’s surface quality.

In close consultation with Max Bögl, Hendriks precon designed a steel formwork comprising two equal sections, one fixed and one mobile. The formation of the complex half parabolic form from sheet steel requires a great deal of craftsmanship and inventiveness. The solution was found in partially bending and trimming the steel, creating origami pieces which are then compiled to form a flowing unit.

The two steel mould elements are bolted together prior to casting and equipped with rebars, also provided by Hendriks. A working platform at the top of the formwork enables the rebar work and casting to be carried out safely. In total Max Bögl is producing 129 columns for the bicycle parking.

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