Bicycle parking garage meets art museum in the Netherlands

One of the largest bicycle parking garages in the Netherlands has been built underneath the Koningin Julianaplein in The Hague, right in front of the Central Station. Silo developed a powerful spatial concept that transforms parking a bike into a museum-like experience.

The unconventional result enhances comfort and safety for its thousands of daily users and serves as an essential link in the urban mobility network.

The project eschews the notion that underground parking spaces must have low ceilings, a lack of daylight and views of the surroundings. The extra high, bright-white ceiling, smart directional markings, spacious aisles, and back-lit glass walls create an unexpectedly impressive experience and an exceptional level of quality. “The integrated application of light and spatial identity makes the facility appear more spacious. Moreover, the visual interventions support the intuitive orientation, making it easier to find back your bike at the end of the day,” says Rene Toneman, Creative Director at Silo. The facility accommodates approximately 8000 bicycles and rental bikes.

The past, present and future architecture of The Hague forms the basis for one continuous image on the entire light wall that encloses the parking facility. Façade elements of iconic buildings are subtly woven together into an awe-inspiring urban landscape inspired by the works of Dutch graphic artist, M.C. Escher. As ones cycles past, one experiences the city’s skyline.

The design quotes historic buildings such as the Ridderzaal, the Peace Palace, and the Kunstmuseum by Berlage; projects by esteemed architects such as Richard Meier, Bernard Tschumi, Hans Kollhoff, Cesar Pelli, KPF, Kraaijvanger, Rudy Uytenhaak, Benthem Crouwel Architects, MVSA, Zwarts & Jansma Architects, and OD205; and future projects by Powerhouse Company, JCAU and NOAHH.

The bicycle parking was designed in collaboration with Studio Marsman and was completed at the beginning of 2020. The definitive exits will be integrated into the above-ground buildings, designed by Powerhouse Company. Together with the residential towers, commercial spaces, and the lively square, the underground bicycle parking will provide a welcoming entrance to the city.

Pictures Mike Bink