Amsterdam is about to open two very large underwater bicycle parking spaces under the Open Havenfront waterway next to the city’s Central Station.
The Stationsplein Bicycle Shed has room for 7,000 bikes and a second, to be opened in February, will be able to accommodate 4,000.
The first was opened on 25 January by Vivianne Heijnen, state secretary for infrastructure and water management.
Local architect wUrck was responsible for the design, and construction was carried out by German contractor Max Bögl for the Municipality of Amsterdam.
wUrck also supervised the remodelling of Central Station’s entrance, including several bridges.
According to wUrck, conveyor belts will take cyclists 9m below ground “into an imaginary oyster with a rough exterior of basalt and natural stone and a smooth, light interior”.
Oriol Casas Cancer, wUrck partner, said: “The use of daylight and light, high-quality materials gives the bicycle shed a pleasant feeling. In addition, the main path of the bicycle shed has been designed as a ‘street’ and forms a direct connection to the metro and the station.”
The architect collaborated with the Amsterdam Museum to decorate one wall of the shed with “pixels” of photographs and paintings which show the connections between the city and water.
The people of Amsterdam are estimated to make around 600,000 bicycle trips a day on some 900,000 bikes.