Photo by Petra Appelhof What used to be a sea of bicycles parked outside Utrecht Centraal railway station and the Hoog Catharijne shopping center is no more. The bikes are now tucked away below the station’s public square, in what is now the largest bike parking facility in the world. Commissioned by the City of Utrecht, infrastructure agency ProRail, and Nederlandse Spoorwegen , the national rail company, the project was designed by Rotterdam-based Ector Hoogstad Architecten in collaboration with landscape architects Buro Sant en Co and engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV). Previously, says Ellen Wijnant, senior project manager at RHDHV, the station and Hoog Catharijne were separate entities. Now, she explains, Stationsplein integrates the once-disjointed station area and links it with Utrecht’s historic city center. The team designed the underground parking garage to maximize convenience, speed, and safety for both cyclists and pedestrians alike. To achieve these goals, it carefully conceived traffic systems that could not only streamline the commute for the 186,000 people filtering through the station but also accommodate the garage’s 12,500-bicycle capacity. A system of stairwells, elevators, and ramps allow cyclists and pedestrians to ride or walk easily in and out of the facility, with separate […]

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