Stimulating the use of bicycles is critical for rethinking urban mobility and public transportation. In the Netherlands, up to 70 percent of commuters travel to the train station by bike. A good connection between the two transport modes is therefore essential to the urban mobility network. With the new bicycle parking garage at The Hague Central Station, the Municipality of The Hague offers a future-proof, service-oriented solution with room for over 8,000 bicycles. With a focus on user experience, orientation, and placemaking, the massive underground space elevates the oft-neglected spatial typology to unexpected new heights.

A lack of daylight and views of the surroundings hinder the orientation in an underground space, especially where rows of bicycle stands create a repetitive layout. The interior design for the bicycle parking garage at Koningin Julianaplein is a radical departure from that and transforms the act of parking your bike into a museum-like experience. The extra high, bright white ceiling, smart directional markings, spacious aisles, and back-lit glass walls make the facility appear more spacious and support the intuitive orientation. At the end of the day, it will be easier to find your bike again.

The past, present, and future architecture of The Hague forms the basis for a singular continuous image on the light wall that encloses the entire parking facility. Facade elements of iconic buildings are subtly woven together into an awe-inspiring urban landscape; a luminous metamorphosis inspired by the works of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. As you cycle past it, you experience the city’s skyline in one smooth movement. With more time, you can explore all individual referenced buildings.

Silo and Studio Marsman worked closely together to integrate the application of light, which plays a key role in the underground space. The glass walls are backlit from below and end just below the white ceiling. This creates the impression of a ceiling that floats above the space. The light in the illustration itself also comes from below, adding the illusion of great depth in the drawing. The subtle grain allows the light to subtly shine through. Light fixtures in the isles guide users of the parking towards free spaces and are reflected by the glass panels.