ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects has received an Award of Excellence for Architectural Achievement with their design for the Albert Cuyp underwater parking garage in Amsterdam. The Albert Cuyp parking garage was built to increase the quality of life in De Pijp neighborhood in Amsterdam and improve the attractiveness of the public domain. It is the first of its kind under an Amsterdam canal.
The parking garage reveals almost nothing at street level as it is completely concealed under an existing canal to blend into the urban landscape. Almost all parking places at street level in the immediate surroundings have been removed and relocated to the parking garage. The former parking areas have been redesigned to create more public space for new playgrounds, plants and squares.
The Municipality of Amsterdam wants to improve the quality of life and accessibility of the city by creating more domains for pedestrians, cyclists, playing children and greenery. To achieve this the city has taken several measures to reduce the presence of cars in the city and to create car-free neighborhoods. One of these measures is the construction of the Albert Cuyp parking garage for 600 cars spread out over two levels under the Boerenwetering canal. Contractor Max Bögl Netherlands B.V. was made responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the parking garage.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the addition of an underwater parking garage has minimal consequences for its surrounding environment. The idea behind the architectural design by ZJA is to blend the parking garage into the existing urban landscape. All installations are out of sight, and the ramps are integrated into the canal side roads. The motto is ‘simple and safe’ and the visibility of the entire structure is as unobtrusive as possible so that the quality of the public domain for pedestrians and cyclists is optimized.
This parking facility qualifies as a smart garage, because the parking system shows the user in which slot he has parked his car. The real intelligence here however lies in the fact that not one square foot of the city has been sacrificed to provide parking for 600 cars. The Albert Cuyp underwater parking garage is an outstanding example of how a neighborhood can transform and create more public space for residents in a densely populated city with limited urban space. The underwater parking garage could be an exemplary prototype for other cities that have similar objectives as the Municipality of Amsterdam.
Images ©: Jeroen Musch / ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects