Two newly built infrastructural underpasses are an added highlight to the medieval city of Zutphen in the east of the Netherlands. The underpasses are designed and engineered by Railinfra Solutions, a former coorperation of Royal HaskoningDHV and Witteveen+Bos.

The monumental train station of Zutphen is located between the historic center and the residential and business areas Noorderhaven and De Mars, which are currently under development. Until the realisation of the underpasses, there has not been a proper connection between the three areas.

Railinfra Solutions, a former coorperation of Royal HaskoningDHV and Witteveen+Bos, has supervised the process of preliminary design up to construction of both underpasses “De Mars” and “Kostverloren” in Zutphen since 2008. This includes the preparation of the client design, the architectural design, contract formation, construction supervision and review of the implementation of the UAV-GC contract.

Underpass Zutphen receives global recognition | Royal HaskoningDHV | Jannes Linders. Courtesy of Herman Kuijer

Since the opening, the underpasses have replaced the old railway crossing, which has subsequently been closed to traffic.

The Mars underpass facilitates all traffic: pedestrian, cycle and car traffic. The Kostverloren underpass facilitates pedestrian and cycle traffic. The underpasses are closely interwoven in the urban fabric of Zutphen, following the Urban plan of KCAP Architects and Planners and the public space design by Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects. The architectural design of the Mars underpass comes from the pen of Mari Baauw, Royal HaskoningDHV. The architectural design of Kostverloren is by Marc Maurer of Maurer United Architects.

The Mars underpass is characterized by its flowing, organic brick walls in a green urban setting. Both underpasses have their own high-quality interior finish made up of an internal rib structure, which is accentuated by a light and color design by light artist Herman Kuijer. The light art additionally provides functional lighting in the underpasses.

Our unique design for the Marstunnel has already received praise from the Zutphen community and our clients who are impressed by its appearance, so much so that it is drawing the attention of our neighbouring countries. A stunning photograph of the Marstunnel was also a focal point of consumer technology giant Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone 6s’ campaign. Thanks to Apple and the talents of an amateur Dutch photographer, the Marstunnel has gained global recognition on a much wider scale.

Underpass Zutphen receives global recognition | Royal HaskoningDHV | Jannes Linders. Courtesy of Herman Kuijer

Joost Sanders, Director at Rail T&P commented, “As one of the team members working on this project, I am proud to see that the project is not only being recognised by the client, but one that is gaining recognition worldwide.”


The jury of the Schreudersprijs 2017 awarded Underpasses Zutphen with an Honorable Mention. This is a biannual Dutch award for innovative tunnels and underground structures. "The impact of the tunnels is phenomenal as you drive through".


  • Engineers: Railinfra Solutions, a collaboration of Royal HaskoningDHV and Witteveen+Bos
  • Urban Planning: KCAP Architects en Planners
  • Public Space Design: Lodewijk Baljon landschapsarchitecten (in collaboration with KCAP Architects en Planners)
  • Architect Underpass Marstunnel: Mari Baauw, Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Architect Underpass Kostverloren: Marc Maurer, Maurer United Architects
  • Light Artist: Herman Kuijer
  • Associated members of the Art Committee Zutphen: Jan Samsom, Jan van IJzendoorn