In February, Amsterdam saw the opening of a new underwater bicycle parking facility. Located in the heart of the city—next to Amsterdam Central Station and under the river IJ (Amsterdam’s waterfront)—the facility, dubbed IJboulevard, has parking spots for over 4,000 bicycles, freeing up space on the street.
Designed by VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism, along with Van Hattum en Blankevoort and DS Landscape Architects, IJboulevard also has created 6,000 square meters (64,583 sf) of new public space above the bike parking facility. The parking facility’s roof serves as a new walkway and gathering space along the river IJ, while also providing seating areas and views of the water.
The bicycle parking facility’s interior design features flowing lines and rounded shapes intended to create a warm, inviting feel. Wooden walls, subtle lighting, and a calm color palette provide clarity and orientation. The use of the same dark gray natural stone on both the pedestrian boulevard and the facility’s entrances provides a seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces.
The stairwells’ large glass surfaces bring in natural light and allow pedestrians on the walkway to see inside the facility. And the column-free design and the prominent placement of the manager’s office help users feel safe.
The eco-friendly design integrates low-energy consumption and sustainable materials. IJboulevard also incorporates features that mimic natural habitats to promote biodiversity and support aquatic life. To improve the health of the river, the design includes bio huts, wood, coconut mats, and porous concrete between the underwater pile supports—offering a habitat for aquatic plants to feed and shelter.
On the Building Team:
Design architect: VenhoevenCS
Landscape architect: DS Landschapsarchitecten
Main contractor: Van Hattum en Blankevoort
Structural engineer: VolkerWessels Infra Competence Centre
MEP: Homij Technische Installaties
Building physics: Buro Bouwfysica
Wayfinding and pedestrian flow consultant: Royal HaskoningDHV