UNStudio Designs Future-Proof Cable Car for Amsterdam

Courtesy of Plompmozes Courtesy of Plompmozes

UNStudio has released images of its design for IJbaan, a green, future-proof cable car linking West and North Amsterdam. The result of a crowdfunding campaign started by founders Bas Dekker and Willem Wessels in 2015, the project is to be implemented by 2025, marking the city's 750th anniversary. The “all electric” transport scheme forms part of Amsterdam’s ambition to be a European center for urban innovation, integrating forward-thinking technology with existing public transport modalities.

Stretching over one mile (1.5 kilometers), the cable car links the two thriving residential districts of Amsterdam-West and Amsterdam-Noord through a system of three slender pylons and two stations. The cable car has been designed to accommodate a future third station depending on the pattern of growth for surrounding districts.

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In order to allow large ships to pass under the IJ waterway, the towers vary in height between 150, 340, and 450 feet (46, 105, and 136 meters). The towers draw inspiration from the ports and ship cranes which define Amsterdam’s industrial heritage, with a sculptural form striking a balance between playfulness and elegance. 

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Meanwhile, the two stations are designed to be more than transport hubs but to become destinations in their own right. The Amsterdam-West station features a vibrant urban plaza along the water with restaurants and bars, while the Amsterdam-Noord offers a viewpoint for the “blossoming cultural hotspot in the North.” 

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A cable car is an extremely sustainable public transport system. It is a very fast and green way of traveling, which is attractive for cyclists, commuters, students, residents, and visitors. In Amsterdam, you see a growing need for connections across the IJ, with the new metro and bridges. The city is growing enormously and such an 'air bridge' contributes to the development of the entire region. Transport by air also relieves the increasing pressure on traffic and the existing transport network on the ground. It is not only efficient but also fun. People are going to see and experience their city in a whole new way.
-Ben van Berkel, Founder, UNStudio

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The journey is expected to take under five minutes, traveling at an average speed of over 20 kilometers per hour. Cabins will have a capacity of between 32 and 37 passengers, with additional cycle cabins for up to six bikes.

Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio
Courtesy of UNStudio Courtesy of UNStudio

For the scheme’s design, UNStudio were able to draw on previous knowledge of cable car design, having won a competition for the design of a three-kilometer-long cable car system in Gothenburg, Sweden earlier this year.

News via: UNStudio