Zwolle is known as a bicycle city, therefore the accessibility of public transport by bike is very important for the city. The new station square and accompanying bicycle parking facility are therefore designed to allow passengers to travel to and from the station by bicycle as comfortably as possible. The cyclist enters the station in a storage facility that’s appealing to all senses. Greenery, rushing water and lots of daylight create a special experience. The spacious layout, short routes and logical splits between pedestrians, cyclists and cars ensure an optimal flow of traffic. The underground bicycle parking has the quality of an outdoor space and is very light, thus creating a special comfort for the traveler and a safe feeling.
Underground with an outdoor feeling
The design of the bicycle storage and the station square flow naturally into each other. In the bicycle shed there is a view of various natural elements that are also visible from the public space. This strengthens the coherence between above and below ground. The natural stone that is used on the square is continuous for the stairs through the bicycle storage. The green of the roof of the bicycle storage facility slopes downward and descends with the cyclist into the storage facility. The water wall next to the stairs connects the square with the bicycle shed. The entrance at the station is literally the light at the end of a tunnel, this spacious entrance gives a lot of extra light to the parking facility. All senses are stimulated in the descent to the bicycle storage; you can smell nature, hear the water as a symbol for the IJssel, the space is light and equipped with a special mural created by Silo. This mural is made in the blue of the lapwing flower, a special tulip that only grows in Zwolle in the water of the IJssel.
Light, safe and energy-efficient bicycle storage
Last December, the bicycle parking facility was put into operation. It offers space for 5,800 bicycles, making it the largest guarded bicycle parking facility in the Netherlands. The bicycle parking facility is designed as an urban basement, the spacious layout provides overview and abundant light provide optimal functionality, comfort and safety. Daylight and natural green areas with plants reach deep into the basement. The existing light fixtures are only turned on when it is too dark outside. This saves a considerable amount of energy. The design is so clever that there are no dead-end corridors or obstacles. Also, the columns are positioned so that there are no dark niches.
Safety means that there is an overview and supervision in the bicycle shed. The clear route, the central axis along all rows, allows the user to quickly and easily find a free place for his or her bicycle.
The different colors of green that change with the seasons and the changing reflections of the water both culminate in the spacious entrance. These themes provide the user with a clear point of recognition, making orientation in the bicycle parking area easy.
Rapidly growing public transport hub
The Zwolle public transport hub, the second largest rail hub in the Netherlands, is one of the fastest growing public transport hubs in the country. In order to process the streams of travelers in and around the station smoothly and safely, good transfer facilities to and from the bicycle, train, bus and taxi/car are of great importance. That is why Zwolle is building a new bus station and a bus bridge and footbridge that will be accessible 24/7 - without an OV chip card - for pedestrians and cyclists. The station square and bicycle shed are part of the Development Perspective Zwolle Station Area in which the municipality of Zwolle, the province of Overijssel, ProRail and NS have described their joint ambitions for the station area up to 2025. Together with regional authorities and NS, ProRail will improve bicycle parking facilities at stations by expanding, better utilizing and renovating. NS will operate the new bicycle parking facility.
Boskalis, Gemeente Zwolle & Prorail
Kraaijvanger Architects, PosadMaxwan ( to preliminary design)
Hans Goverde, Joost Esschendal, Jochen Aarts,
Jan Dorsman, Hashmat Fagirzada, Jaco van Son
- year of construction