Delft Blue represents a true Dutch design precedent. Design and art enhance image and brand of railway environments in the Netherlands.


Prime domain(s)
Rail, Mobility, Planning


Prime theme(s)
Urban mobility hubs


Additional theme(s)
Users & Services, Design & Identity


Related showcases
Expected in 2017: Amsterdam Centraal, Delft Main Station


Lead partner
RVDB Urban Planning


Second contact


Extended summary
Delft Blue Graphics have been used originally for pottery and tiles in domestic contexts. Today Delft Blue is applied as art and design in many products and situations – also in railway environments, particularly stations. Delft Blue enhances use, aesthetics and personal safety in these railway environments. It also boosts the image of the Dutch rail sector.


Form (description)
Delft Blue graphics (originally: pottery and tiles) are transformed into design and art.
Example Delftshaven metro station (Rotterdam, Netherlands): interior facades.


Operation (usage)
Delft Blue (formerly: domestic use) is applied in railway environments (e.g. stations) to boost their quality.
Example Delftshaven metro station (Rotterdam, Netherlands): improvement of interior.


Performance (result)
Delft Blue improves and enhances image and use of public transport in Rotterdam. Strengthening its image and brand as pleasant environment and service.
Example Delftshaven metro station (Rotterdam, Netherlands): enhancement of use, aesthetics and personal safety within the interior of the station.




Overview by Dutch Rail Sector of four examples of applied Delft Blue in Dutch railway environments.

Metro station, Rotterdam (Delft Blue interior designed by Eline Janssens and Margot Berkman)

Transformation of metro station ‘Delftshaven’ (Rotterdam, 2001). Delft Blue tiles have been used to enhance interior’s use, aesthetics and personal safety – designed and produced by Dutch artists Eline Janssens and Margot Berkman (assigned by RET, Rotterdam’s public transport operator).

Pedestrian and bicycle tunnel, Central Station Amsterdam, the ‘Cuyperspassage’ (Delft Blue interior designed by Irma Boom)

Cuyperspassage is the name of the new tunnel at Amsterdam Central Station that connects the city and the waters of the IJ-river. Since the end of 2015 it has been used by large numbers of cyclists, some 15,000 daily, and pedestrians 24 hours a day. This ‘slow traffic corridor’ was exactly what many users of the city felt was lacking. What once was by necessity a left or right turn is now, at long last, straight ahead. The tunnel is clad on one side by nearly 70,000 Delft Blue tiles: a true Dutch spectacle at a central spot in Amsterdam.
(Source: Benthem Crouwel, 2015)

Main Station Delft (designed by Mecanoo)

In an earlier design presentation of the train station (and city hall) for the city of Delft, Netherlands, the interior was covered by delft blue tiles. The designers of Mecanoo Architects, a Dutch firm, eventually decided to select another historic inspired interior.

The new station design intends to weave the past of the city with its future in the expanding urban environment. The newly designed station will allow travellers to experience Delft as a city not only with a rich history but also one of technological ingenuity.  The vaulted ceilings, with scenes depicted in delft blue, create an organic blanket that covers the station and the city hall. These ceilings can be seen anywhere in the building and highlight the craft history of the city in a contemporary manner.
(Source: Arch Daily, June 5, 2009)

Stencil Station (Delft Blue applied art by Hugo Kaagman)

At the exhibition ‘Stencil Station’(Utrecht, Netherlands, March-September 2012) Hugo Kaagman has sprayed three trains of the Railway with stencils and spray cans and transformed them into real works of art. Kaagman also showed his finest works of art on canvas in which trains play a major role.
Kaagman started with graffiti in the streets but now his works are in galleries and museums. His Delft Blue stencils are famous around the world. … The studio of Hugo Kaagman can be found on the platform of RAI Station in Amsterdam, so it is not surprising that trains are an important source of inspiration for his art. … For four years now, Kaagman has been working in a former kiosk between platforms 1 and 2 at the RAI train station in the Zuidas. Every couple of minutes the double-decker trains arriving right next to his studio spew out hundreds of travellers. ‘I was working on a commission for Centraal Station, was looking for work space and could rent this from ProRail. The former renter had covered up all the windows, but I really like being in the midst of the public and that people can see my work.’
(Source:, adapted by DRS)


None yet.




Foreign potentials
Design, branding, trade and export of Dutch rail products and services.


Related projects and pilots
None yet.




Other media


Image credits
RVDB Urban Planning /, Benthem Crouwel, Mecanoo, Hugo Kaagman


Delft Blue