From the architect. Parking garage ‘de Cope’ at Papendorp in Utrecht proves once and for all that a parking accommodation need no longer be a grey and negative mass. With its clear design and transparent parking structure, this garage is truly an added value to its environment and makes parking a positive experience. Industrial estate (and offices complex) Papendorp currently witnesses widespread parking in public space. Temporary parking solutions very much mark the streets. In the meantime, parking regulations have been amended and new developments set into motion. In the context of this development, Kroon Group and JHK Architecten realised a parking garage combined with an office/business premises in Papendorp Zuid, with a total of some 500 parking places and 3x1000m2 worth of office space. The majority of the parking spaces is intended for use by the neighboring offices. In other words, we are on our way to a street without parked cars.
The design consists of two abstract units, connected by means of a crossway. Two spirals open up the various parking decks within the building. The parking garage functions separately from the three office storeys on the three top floors. The entrance to the offices is an entrance hall at ground level. Orientation within the garage is optimal both for motorists and pedestrians. You need not spend time looking for a spot or the exit: the design quite simply leads you along.
The building’s façade is the result of the desire to create a building that is not the same old parking garage with its typical construction of bar, balustrade and column. The level of ambition is high from an urban planning perspective, as the design must be able to compete with an originally planned office unit.
By building the façade around both the parking decks and the office storey’s, there is no way to visually distinguish between the different functions. The façade consists of inward curved, perforated ‘Platibond composite panels’ with a golden coating, which give the aluminum surface coat its golden metallic look. The panels were specially developed for this project in collaboration with the façade supplier. The gradual changes in the perforations and the jumping panels create the impression of a woven structure. The perforations guarantee the natural ventilation of the parking garage. The construction of the panels also allows for even distribution along the façade in places where the façade curves. Form, color and detail give the building a different look depending on the weather and the light. Between the many office and industrial buildings, the garage is a welcome and pleasant change.