The city of The Hague quietly opened the second largest bicycle parking facility in the Netherlands earlier today together with the Dutch Railways. The garage, at the city’s Central Station, has room to park about 8,500 bicycles and that includes 600 public transport bicycles to rent out. All the racks are in a single space, an over 8,100 square meter basement directly under the square in front of the station building. The facility would have been opened in April of this year, but that opening party had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic.
The connection between bicycle and train is an essential link in the urban mobility network. However, underground parking spaces are often unpleasant due to low ceilings, and the 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 supports the intuitive orientation, making it easier to find back your bike at the end of the day.
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. Facade elements of iconic buildings are subtly woven together into an awe-inspiring urban landscape; a luminous metamorphosis inspired by the works of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. As you cycle past it, you experience the city’s skyline in one smooth movement. With more time, you can explore all individual referenced buildings.
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.
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