The official opening of the largest bicycle parking garage in the Netherlands will take place in Utrecht today. Utrecht, a student city, has the largest transportation hub in the Netherlands. Utrecht asked for a smart bicycle parking solution. Royal HaskoningDHV was responsible for the integrated design of the concrete structure and the building services for the bicycle parking garage. In addition, Royal HaskoningDHV provided consulting services on the most efficient and safe cycling routes in and around the parking garage.
Major Constructional Challenges
The new three-storey bicycle parking garage is located below the future Station Square. It is fitted between Utrecht Central Railway Station, a shopping centre and Utrecht's historical inner city. The garage currently provides space for 6,000 bicycles. At 12,500 spaces it is expected to be largest in the world in 2018. Royal HaskoningDHV's structural engineers were faced with a great challenge: transforming Ector Hoogstad Architect’s design into an integrated design. The roof of the parking garage functions as the basis for the elevated Station Square. The structure must have sufficient capacity for the shops and catering facilities to be constructed on the square. At the same time it must provide sufficient accommodation for the bicycle parking garage. The building services that were designed are virtually invisible, with the added benefit that cyclists have daylight and an optimal overview within the lower floor.
By using the Building Information Model (BIM), Royal HaskoningDHV was able to work closely with all stakeholders. This approach ensured that the structure could effectively meet the wishes and requirements of the plans for the station area.
Construction Phasing: Priority for Accessibility and Safety
Buses, trams, cars, taxis, cyclists and pedestrians had to be able to reach the station safely throughout the construction process. The optimal circulation of all traffic flows during construction was essential so construction was completed in phases. Royal HaskoningDHV was responsible for the infrastructure on the basis of a multimodal transport hub concept. Simulations were used to ensure that (temporary) routes matched human behaviour. This met the objective of providing safety and comfort for passengers.
Cyclists' behaviour was also taken into consideration in designing the parking garage. The design provides a logical and safe routing through the bicycle parking garage to ensure smooth circulation. There is also bright lighting and good lines of sight for a comfortable experience. The integrated approach means that the structure and infrastructure of the parking garage complement each other well. The result is an inner city bicycle parking garage with a huge capacity. Cyclists can continue their journey in the station or in the city comfortably, safely and quickly.
The bicycle parking garage is a joint venture between the Municipality of Utrecht, the Dutch National Railways (NS) and ProRail. It is located below the elevated new Station Square. The Municipality is implementing a large-scale construction project for the entire area around Utrecht Central Railway Station. Royal HaskoningDHV is also involved in the structural design of the high-quality public transport lane. This includes a viaduct and the impressive roof over the Station Square. This way Royal HaskoningDHV contributes in an integrated way to a safe, accessible and attractive multimodal station area in Utrecht.