Rotterdam subzero

Accesses for underground parking system

Vacant sites in the centre of Rotterdam are being developed at a rapid pace. The result is a sharp rise in demand for parking space. Far-reaching plans have been drawn up for numerous locations within the ring-road to provide for the required parking space. If all these garages were to have points of access from street level, threatened enough as it is, then space for pedestrians would be significantly reduced. The city traffic department has therefore decided to integrate all plans in order to minimise the number of access points to parking facilities. The proposal is to group future garages together with existing parking facilities into three clusters directly accessed from the cities boulevards. At the basis of all five designs is the wish not to reduce the area of public space. Access routes should not be blind spots but points of emphasis in the public domain. They are upgraded in various ways to function as pleasant places for people shopping and socialising in a hectic urban environment. The points of access will be experienced as destinations in themselves rather than as obstacles.

NORTH ACCESS: Pedestrian Peninsula
The ground plane tilts upwards over the point of access so that it runs parallel with the ramp beneath. Like a peninsula, the raised pavement is connected along one side only with the rest of the pedestrian area. Pedestrians can safely survey their surroundings from this sheltered zone right in the midst of the busy traffic at street level.

WEST ACCESS: City Collar
Where the entrance to a parking lot is positioned right next to a pedestrian zone, the point of access forms a comfortable city bench that largely hides the access ramps from view and forms an edge to the adjoining square. The effect is that of a collar that offers a hint of the parking facility below and elegantly frames the garage entrance. The collar forms a representative entrance to the car park and, hence, to the city.

EAST ACCESS: P Bar
A pleasant bar is a welcome addition at the eastern tip of Kruiskade and creates smooth transition to Coolsingel. The form of the P-Bar is created by extruding a blue P -which marks the entrance to the underground car park for approaching motorists- parallel to the access ramp. Inside, the hole in the letter P is extruded to form the bar counter.

EXTRA EAST ACCESS: Journal de la Lumière
Screening the pavement from the access ramp is a wall of horizontal (aluminium) lamellae. At eye-level the wall reads as a transparent screen, and people passing between wall and Lumière cinema retain visual contact with the surroundings. The gaping hole to the access ramp below, however, is concealed completely from view by the lamellae.

SOUTH ACCESS: Hard Shoulder
Dominating the area is a major pedestrian crossing. The zebra crossing is extended southwards so that the approaching motorist is immediately aware that this is an important pedestrian area. The black-and-white stripes separate into single strands that form benches. As a result, the intensity of light reaching the ramps increases closer to the entrance/exit.

year
2002

in cooperation with
Urban Affairs A2Studio (visualization)

programme
Parking space and public domain.

client
City of Rotterdam, Urban Planning and Public Housing Department

more...
SOUTH ACCESS: HARD SHOULDER
SOUTH ACCESS: HARD SHOULDER
EXTRA EAST ACCESS: JOURNAL DE LA LUMIÈRE
EXTRA EAST ACCESS: JOURNAL DE LA LUMIÈRE
EAST ACCESS: P-BAR
EAST ACCESS: P-BAR
EAST ACCESS: P-BAR
EAST ACCESS: P-BAR
EXTRA EAST ACCESS: JOURNAL DE LA LUMIÈRE
EXTRA EAST ACCESS: JOURNAL DE LA LUMIÈRE
SOUTH ACCESS: HARD SHOULDER
SOUTH ACCESS: HARD SHOULDER
WEST ACCESS: CITY COLLAR
WEST ACCESS: CITY COLLAR
WEST ACCESS: CITY COLLAR
WEST ACCESS: CITY COLLAR
NORTH ACCESS: PEDESTRIAN PENINSULA
NORTH ACCESS: PEDESTRIAN PENINSULA
NORTH ACCESS: PEDESTRIAN PENINSULA
NORTH ACCESS: PEDESTRIAN PENINSULA
1. NORTH ACCESS/ 2. WEST ACCESS/ 3. EAST ACCESS/ 4. EXTRA EAST ACCESS/ 5. SOUTH ACCESS
1. NORTH ACCESS/ 2. WEST ACCESS/ 3. EAST ACCESS/ 4. EXTRA EAST ACCESS/ 5. SOUTH ACCESS
related media
related projects