WAA progress construction on the IJhal in Amsterdam
The IJhal is situated within Amsterdam's Centraal Station, parallel to the IJ–the city's connection to the North Sea–and below the station's new bus terminal, all of which is capped by a new roof that proudly proclaims the city's name. The IJhal is one component of a larger initiative to transform Amsterdam's currently entangled transportation systems. When the station opened in 1889, the city lost both its view onto the IJ and its connection to Amsterdam North. With the opening of city's new North-South subway line in 2017, which tunnels the IJ, Amsterdam's two halves will be connected for the first time, via public transportation, without the use of boats. Foreseen as reactivating the entire city, the renovation of the station–which began in the early 2000s–is set to conclude in 2019. The IJhal is integral to the functioning of the new station: it is the area in which travelers will congregate, before they disperse toward their next destination in the Netherlands, or abroad. A system of rounded mirrors on the ceiling is meant to reflect the shimmering light off the IJ's surface, which is mimicked by the curved interior glazing. The western portion of the IJhal is set to open in June 2015, and the eastern in early 2016.
A small section of the western, and therefore most complete portion of the IJhal, is currently able to be walked through, along the station's western pedestrian passage.