17 Oct 2016

The groundbreaking design of an underground car park by Royal HaskoningDHV in Katwijk aan Zee has won the Infrastructure Award 2016 given by the World Architecture News (WAN).

Naming the Kustwerk Katwijk project as their winner was a unanimous decision by the experienced jury; with the panel all agreeing the project was a worthy winner. There are many elements to the design which the jury discussed in-depth. They acknowledged the way in which the project had created a place for the public to visit, commenting: “This project celebrates the fact that we have to build infrastructure and it can be joyous and a real addition. It’s simple and elegant and arguably this project has potential for extraordinary legacy.”

The innovative parking garage in the Dutch coastal town of Katwijk is an integral part of the area’s new water defence system, protecting the town against the elements of the North Sea. Spanning over 500 metres, the garage was opened to great acclaim in February 2015 with a capacity to accommodate 663 cars.

The new underground parking garage in Katwijk aan Zee is the result of a multifaceted commission granted to Royal HaskoningDHV by the Municipality of Katwijk. Royal HaskoningDHV is responsible for the architectural design of the underground parking garage and translated this design into a comprehensive Design Brief and sketches. Based on this comprehensive Design Brief Ballast Nedam, in cooperation with ZJA (Zwarts & Jansma), engineered the integral design (architectural, functional, structural and installation) of the Parking Garage during the construction phase.

The underground garage is tucked away behind a new shore protection (dike and dunes) and carefully embedded into its natural dune environment so as to respect its surrounding landscape. As such Katwijk is protected from the beating waves of the sea and at the same time the area has become more appealing and accessible as a tourist destination with much-needed parking right by the beach.

Pedestrians can access the parking garage from above, via a discrete main entrance situated at the top of the sand dune. Internally, the subtly designed garage is connected to the beach by a cylindrical lift well wrapped by a curved staircase.

© Photographer: Luuk Kramer


The WAN Infrastructure Award 2016 rewards ideas that bring elegant solutions to vital infrastructure schemes and the effective design of Katwijk captured the attention of the judges.

A longlist of 22 projects was narrowed down to a shortlist of six, with Katwijk then crowned the overall winner on Tuesday 18 October.

Richard van den Brule (responsible Architect) at Royal HaskoningDHV said: “It is a great honour to win this award and we are very pleased the judging panel recognised the special attention given to the detail of the design which helps to convey a real sense of place.

“The team took an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to this project to ensure a sustainable marriage of engineering and architecture. Considerations needed to be taken into account for defensive coastal protection, functional parking requirements as well as the desire for a landscape design which is in keeping with its coastal environment.”

The underground parking garage has previously been nominated for prestigious awards, including winning the Best Dutch Building of the Year 2016 by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award 2016, the Dutch RAP Architecture prize and the Falco Award Best Public Space 2015.

The underground parking garage is part of the Kustwerk Katwijk project. The project is a joint collaboration of the Municipality of Katwijk, the Rijnland Water Authority, the Province of South Holland and Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch Ministry of Waterways and Public Works) along with those directly involved in creating a safe and beautiful Katwijk coast with good parking facilities.

In a joined team with Royal HaskoningDHV, Arcadis performed the planning studies for the project, while WB de Ruimte carried out the contract management and OKRA Landschapsarchitecten BV completed the landscape architecture.

All WAN Infrastructure Award 2016 finalists had their projects displayed at the UK Construction Week.

To read more about the project visit: New underground parking garage in Katwijk aan Zee