Sound and dust proof eyecatcher at Amsterdam Central Station

In the next few years, the area of the central station of Amsterdam, will transform into a spacious and safe environment. Commissioned by the municipality; contractor Max Bögl takes care of the centre side of Amsterdam Central. One of the sub-areas: the Cuyperstrap; a new staircase from the station hall to the subway station below. A challenging task in which Merford's expertise in the field of acoustic insulation was desperately needed.

  • Max Bögl
  • Infrastructure, Rail

"Attention passengers, the Intercity to Rotterdam leaves in five minutes from platform one ..." Everyone’s heard them: the familiar announcements from the station’s announcer. They are important for the traveller and should not be overwhelmed by noise. And there is a good chance this will happen, as a result of which the contractor cuts open the floor for the Cuyperstrap and digs a few meters deep passage. 

That is why Merford built a sound and dustproof "box" in the middle of the hall of Amsterdam Central for Max Bögl. "A special project at a unique location," says Merford project manager Ronald van der Nagel. "Complex, but also a great challenge!"

Fire resistant

In the search for a specialist in the field of acoustic insulation, Max Bögl came to Merford. "We soon noticed that Merford is a serious party. They switch quickly, think along and are very solution-oriented, "outlines Douwe Bijlard, project manager at Max Bögl. "In the implementation, but especially in the preparation." In doing so, Douwe proposes, among other things, the fire department's requirement that the enclosure must be fire-resistant for at least one hour. "We have presented them with that requirement and they have come up with a solution." The soundproof SKS panels that Merford uses are not certified for fire resistance. Additional measures were therefore required for this project. Ronald and his colleagues found a solution: they added Promatec cement-bonded sheets to the design and supported the fire resistance-part in an official report for the fire brigade. In the end, the solution was approved.

Narrow space

Fire resistance was one of the challenges, Ronald assured: "There were a few complex factors." The load-bearing capacity of the floor, for example. This is limited to the monumental station. The steel structure with the attached soundproof panels, rest on support points on the sides of the hall. "Specialist work", Ronald knows. "Therefore, we worked with subcontractors for the construction of the frame and the overhead crane." In the preparation, Merford also thought about the shape of the casing. "In an emergency, everyone must be able to leave the station hall quickly without getting hurt by sharp edges," Ronald explains. "That is why the casing has beveled corners." The biggest challenges in implementation were space and time. "We are used to working in narrow spaces, but this project was particularly challenging. For example, there was no room to put up equipment. That requires good coordination and a lot of flexibility from the builders."

Great display

Each day, it is a coming and going of hundreds of thousands of travellers at Amsterdam Central Station. In order to hinder them as little as possible, construction is only allowed between 9 p.m. and 7 p.m. "And the number of transports for the assigned and removal was also limited. So logistics was quite a puzzle, "says Ronald. "There were long nights, but in two weeks we managed to get the job done. It truly is a great display. "Partly due to the gigantic light object (designed by Studio nvb) that hides the ‘box’ from view. It has become a striking construction. Most importantly the "box" does what it was built for: "We have started our work within the enclosure and we do not hear the speaker's messages there," Douwe says. "And they don't hear us outside." The contractor is therefore very satisfied with the result. And he now knows that Merford does more than just sound insulation. "We also asked for doors, shutters, and implementation of the products for this project. For the next similar project, I will definitely contact Merford again!”