The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects has named a dune-shaped underground car park in South Holland the Best Dutch Building of the Year 2016. Designed by Dutch firm Royal HaskoningDHV, the Underground Parking Garage is set in Katwijk, a coastal town that borders the North Sea. The building’s undulating shape is skillfully integrated into the surrounding dune landscape and provides defense against flooding from the sea.
Set between a dyke and a major city boulevard, the Underground Parking Garage has an elongated 500-meter-long form that runs parallel to the beach and houses 663 parking spots. The architects collaborated with OKRA landscape architects to top the structure with a planting palette congruous with a natural dune landscape. Materials and colors were carefully chosen to better integrate the garage into the landscape and the city’s urban fabric.
“The underground parking is groundbreaking, not only because it is an exceptional building, but it also illustrates how the Netherlands have to be innovative in its approach when it comes to protecting our coastline for the future,” said Royal Institute of Dutch Architects jury chairman Hanneke Groenteman. Colorful and artistic signage guides drivers through the parking space and leads pedestrians to the outdoors through doorways located aboveground.