The official opening of the largest bicycle parking garage in the Netherlands will take place in Utrecht in the summer of 2019. Utrecht, a student city, has the largest transportation hub in the Netherlands: Utrecht Central Station. Utrecht needed a smart bicycle parking solution to accommodate the thousands of bicycles belonging to travellers from and to Utrecht Central Station. Royal HaskoningDHV contributed in an integrated way to a safe, accessible and attractive multimodal station area. We were responsible for the integrated design of the concrete structure and the building services for the bicycle parking garage. In addition, we 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 Station Square. The north part of the square, with its iconic roof has been opened in February 2018. The square is fitted between Utrecht Central Station, a shopping centre and Utrecht's historical inner city. Since August 2017 the garage provides space for 6,000 bicycles. After the official opening in the summer of 2019, it is expected to be the largest in the world, with 12,500 spaces.
Our structural engineers were faced with a great challenge: transforming Ector Hoogstad Architecten’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 which are 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. Cyclists have the added benefit of daylight and an optimal overview within the lower floors.
By using the Building Information Model (BIM), we were able to work closely with all stakeholders. This approach ensured that the structure continued to meet the wishes and requirements of the plans for the station area effectively.
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. We were 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 a main issue 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.
Utrecht Station area
The bicycle parking garage is a joint venture between the Municipality of Utrecht, the Dutch National Railways (NS) and ProRail. The Municipality is implementing a large-scale construction project for the entire area around Utrecht Central Station. We were also involved in the structural design of the high-quality public transport lane and the impressive roof over the Station Square. This transport lane includes a viaduct, which is part of the bicycle garage project.