Booster Zuid

Kruising Spaklerweg en Verlengde van Marwijk Kooystraat
GROUP A Architecten
Dienst Waterbeheer en Riolering
Metro 50, 51, 53, 54 (halte Van der Madeweg)
Dit project is o.m. gepubliceerd in Amsterdamse Architectuur 2003-2006; ARCAM POCKET 19. Klik hier voor meer boeken uit de reeks ’ARCAM POCKET’.
Infra, Voorziening

Poo and architecture

Anyone who takes the metro in the direction of Amsterdam Zuidoost will, just before Van der Madeweg station, see the unusual results this improbable combination can produce. In the angle of the metro viaducts for lines 50 and 51 is a futuristic chrome-coloured building, with the equally futuristic name ‘Booster Station-Zuid’.

It is a booster pumping station, which pumps sewage from the Zuidoost district towards the sewage treatment plant in Westelijk Havengebied. Attentive passengers on line 50 in particular will have noticed the building, since trains on the circular line often have to wait for a green signal at the highest point of the viaduct.

Some see a spaceship in the pumping station, others an engine block. The striking matt silver exterior fits in perfectly with the silver-grey cladding of the metro viaducts situated behind, as a result of which, from certain angles, it is as if the flyovers are linked to the engine block like petrol hoses.

Prior to the building’s completion, the pumping stations of Amsterdam’s sewage system were hidden away in nondescript concrete bunkers and brick sheds. However, in 1998 new European regulations for the treatment of wastewater compelled the council to reconstruct the city’s sewage system. It was decided to build a central sewage treatment plant in Westelijk Havengebied, to which sewage would be pumped via four pumping stations dotted around the city. In contrast to other large-scale infrastructural interventions in Amsterdam’s boggy soil, the construction of the new sewage system went smoothly and virtually unnoticed by the city’s inhabitants.

These curious ‘boosters’ appeared in the urban landscape in the course of 2005 and 2006. An eye-catching design was chosen for each of the four buildings, but Booster Station-Zuid is perhaps the most daring. Form is clearly determined by function here; the extension at the rear of the building contains the high-voltage unit and the pipes that extend from the building are the sewage pipes to the pumps.
If the stainless steel building is eye-catching by day, it attracts even more attention when it’s dark. Then the seams between the steel plates are illuminated, as if the light is trying to burst out of the building. Booster Station-Zuid is a building whose function may seem dull, but whose outward form is extravagant – an enrichment for the monotonous business parks in Amsterdam Zuidoost. (ARCAM)