When you live in The Netherlands finding a parking space is a huge problem - for your bike that is. As a way to relieve bike congestion in the town of Zaanstad, city officials agreed to build a bike parking house that could store up to 700 bicycles and made it completely free to boot. Fietsenpakhuis, designed by Nunc Architecten, relies on solar passive design, natural ventilation and solar energy, and is easing congestion in the city while encouraging more people to ride their bikes.
The Zaanstad Bicycle Warehouse is located in the city center, whose architecture is largely defined by industrial warehouses. Inspiration for Fietsenpakhuis came from the archetype of the “Zaanse” warehouse, which was an expressive wooden structure of beams and columns supporting the building enclosed by a shell of brickwork. The two story building features a wall of glass on the front, brick construction and then a translucent screen back wall. A large accordion style door opens into a double height space with bike parking on both levels and a sloping ramp to access the second story. Bike lock systems were engineered with the help of KlaverGroup and Cycle Up to store 700 bicycles a day, free of charge to the users.
The space also includes public toilets, bike repair, bike rentals and lockers. The design of the building is also strongly focused on sustainability and includes the use of passive solar design, natural ventilation, and a solar system on the roof. All of the materials were sourced locally and the wood comes from certified sustainable sources. And of course the main point of the facility was to provide lots of free bike parking spaces as a way to encourage more people to ride their bikes rather than drive. Fietsenpakhuis officially opened on June 1, 2011.