Amsterdam North-South subway line - CODAworx

Amsterdam North-South subway line

Submitted by QKUNST


Client: City of Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $5,000,000

Project Team


City of Amsterdam

City of Amsterdam


Benthem Crouwel Architects

Benthem Crouwel Architects

Art Consultant




Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukács


Jennifer Tee


David Claerbout


Gerald van der Kaap


Amsterdam has a long tradition when it comes to art in public space. The city carries out cultural life also in the subway stations of the North/South metro line. For all the 8 stations selected artists designed monumental works, often more than 100 metres wide, integrated into the walls or the floor of the stations. They looked for innovative ways to work with the standard materials of the stations (glass or stone), to place their work in or behind existing walls (an LED screen, LED lighting) or build their work on a spur of the platform in brick and concrete.


For the passenger, art in the stations offers individuality, orientation and the sensation of travel. For the artists, a commission within this special project perpetuates the oeuvre or works in a ground-breaking way. And art gives the metro line international allure. Themes for the art connect with the natural route of the metro line through the city. At every station, the artists draw from the treasure-house of the immediate city environment. This increases the sense of cohesion between the various stations, makes the line recognisable and truly Amsterdam.


The process from concept development up to and including delivery of all the works took about seven years. The process was directed by a project leader for art and a project leader for execution, working in close collaboration with QKunst, responsible for the artistic guidance. An independent advisory committee consisting of representatives of the architect, the art world, the user and the traveller considered a long list of Dutch and international artists of different generations and working in diverse disciplines and forms. In the end, the committee asked three artists per station to propose a design based on the theme 'From neighbourhood to the world', taking into account the durability of the work as well as considerations of safety in the stations. The designs were presented to the future passengers in a pop-up expo. The committee included the input of the future passengers in its recommendations to the board.

Additional Information

Commissions were awarded as follows to the artists: Harmen Liemburg (Noord), Broersen & Lukács (Noorderpark), Jennifer Tee (Centraal Station, concourse-hall), David Claerbout (Centraal Station, metro-hall, Dewar & Gicquel (Rokin), Marjan Laaper (Vijzelgracht), Amalia Pica (De Pijp) and Gerald van der Kaap (Europaplein). Not all stations could be listed in the overview, please see the movie for a complete overview.