Ector Hoogstad Architecten
The World’s Largest Bicycle Parking Facility
Ector Hoogstad Architecten – in collaboration with Buro Sant & Co and Royal Haskoning DHV – has realised a new bicycle parking facility near Utrecht station. The large parking area offers space for no less than 12,500 bikes. Users can cycle in and out of the building using gentle slopes. This increases the comfort as well as the speed with which travellers can park and collect their bikes. Various open spaces highlight the spaciousness; sightlines to the railway and the bus station provide orientation. A great deal of attention has also been paid to the lighting and acoustics. The striking, thirty metre-high ‘trumpet columns’ support the upper square with its characteristic ‘bulb roof’ which is integral in the design.
By focusing on a smart combination of ease of use and concentration of functions, the existing typology of bicycles parking facilities has been radically renewed. The way in which the complexity of different traffic flows (cyclists, travellers, public transport and access to the city centre) have been intelligently intertwined is impressive. This results in a new, yet remarkably obvious cycling infrastructure. This parking facility will actually increase the pleasure and comfort of those using sustainable means of transport (cycling and public transport). As such, a literally layered, complex and costly task has been successfully translated into enticing and user-friendly architecture. The characteristic Dutch cycling culture has been enriched in Utrecht, with an inspiring focal point for other cities to aspire to. Finally, this tribute to cyclists will undoubtedly become a beautiful, international calling card.