The three-storey car park at the popular Scheveningen beach near The Hague is 300m long and offers space for 700 cars. What is remarkable about the car park is that by being incorporated into surrounding structures and covered with a dune landscape, it is completely hidden from view.

Scheveningen is a modern seaside resort with long, sandy beach and wide esplanade. It has been described as the most popular stretch of sand in the Netherlands. To cope with increasing visitors, extra parking was needed but the challenge was to ensure the structure enhanced the area.

To integrate the car park within the environment, it was designed to fit into the 7-metre height differential between the esplanade and the nearby road, with one storey of the car park underground. The beach side of the structure was hidden with retail units and the top covered with a dune. At the end, a pavilion was designed to span beach and esplanade and has been secured by the Hard Rock Café.

Retaining wall ensures open, flexible space for car park and retail units

Royal HaskoningDHV provided structural design services for the construction. One of the most complex parts was the 300m-long retaining wall which was built between the road and the esplanade. It ensures the stability of the car park structure, avoiding supporting walls to create an open and flexible area within the car park and retail units. There was also a need to reassure residents living in smart flats and houses above that there was no risk to the structural integrity of their properties during construction. The entire solution was developed using BIM and 3D modelling in collaboration with the architect and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and heating designs.

Pavilion accommodates movement of sand and aids flood defence

The pavilion has a dramatic waved structure connecting with the shape of the dunes. Its complex shape was made possible through the use of 3D modelling techniques and 3D calculations. The beach section of the pavilion is built on piles 1.5m above the beach, enabling sand and water to flow below. The pavilion basement has been designed to form part of the high-water flood defence.

A special solution from every angle

“It is a special solution because the parking is so close to the beach but hidden from every angle. From the road above you see grass and sandy dunes. From the esplanade, you just see the new retail units and next to the building is the spectacular pavilion,” explained Dennis Woudenberg, structural engineer at Royal HaskoningDHV. “Features of the design are also special, for example the open and flexible nature of the car park and retail units and the integration of the pavilion into the flood defence.”