IJBoulevard is an underwater bike parking project completed by Dutch studio VenhoevenCS Architecture + Urbanism which houses 4,000 bikes. It was designed as a “plug-in” for Amsterdam Central Station, a multi-modal transport hub, to make journeys as simple and hassle free as possible.

Bringing it underground frees up space at street level while providing a pedestrian boulevard above ground that offers panoramic views over the River IJ. Its unique underwater design likewise provides a habitat for aquatic life to feed and shelter. 

IJboulevard “offers more public space for pedestrians around the busiest transportation hub in the city. The design includes 6,000 m2 of new public space above ground, created by storing bicycles underwater. The roof of the parking facility forms the new boulevard along the river IJ, creating a new walkway and gathering space for residents and visitors, with seating areas and views of the river IJ.”

Its interior is warm and inviting thanks to its design characterized by flowing lines and detailed rounded shapes. The entrances are finished in the same dark gray natural stone as the boulevard for seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces.

Meanwhile, wooden walls, subtle lighting, and a calm color palette helps in clarity and orientation and natural light filters inside the underground parking via the large glass surfaces of the stairwells. These glass surfaces also give pedestrians above a look at the parking facility below. 

Moreover, IJboulevard is sustainable and eco-friendly as it integrates low-energy consumption, sustainable materials, and features that promote biodiversity. It also incorporates features that mimic natural habitats to promote biodiversity and aquatic life including the use of bio huts, wood, coconut mats, and porous concrete between the underwater pile supports to offer shelter and surfaces for aquatic plants to grow, an in the process, also improving the overall health of the river.

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Images courtesy of VenhoevenCS