Text description provided by the architects. Bicycle parking De Snelbinder is the first project in a series of buildings that, in the coming years, will be part of the renewed city centre of Nieuwegein (the Netherlands).
The buildings site is a place of contrasts. On the one hand it’s part of the machinery behind the nearby shopping arcade, on the other hand it accommodates the entry to the shopping arcade with stacked housing on top. The two faces of the site are reflected in the materials of the parking facade.
The building’s volume is part of the industrial face. The coloured facade of expanded metal creates a robust, light-absorbing volume. The expanded metal is used in such way that the garage from the outside appears to be a massive volume; the inside, however, is light and transparent.
Specific parts of the building like the entrance and the roof are part of the public face. Polished white metal accentuates the entrance, lighting up the public space. The green roof provides a visual garden from the entrances of the surrounding housing.
Using steel made it possible to keep the constructive elements slender and the entrance column free. The composite deck floor is durable, easy to assemble and stern enough to apply, and to finish with a concrete coating. To create optimal height of construction, supporting beams are integrated. Test bars support the metal panelling of the façade.
The compact volume accommodates 400 bikes, distributed over two floors. A staircase in the middle of the building offers access to the second floor, which on one corner is cantilevered, thus creating a canopy above the entrance. Apart from parking for bikes, the building contains a repair workshop, lockers and a small seating area. All three functions are situated underneath the canopy. Seen from the adjacent square and highlighted by the polished white metal, the parking will be a small, but eye catching place in the new public realm of the renewed city centre.