972 parking spaces
3 underground parking levels
12,000 m3 concrete poured
The area surrounding The Hague Central Station was undergoing thorough redevelopment. The old above-ground car park on Anna van Buerenplein had to make way for a lively pedestrian square. Our client wanted visitors to the Babylon shopping mall to park their cars underground instead, in a car park built in the same high-end style as the mall itself.
We developed an underground car park with three parking levels, which we connected with the existing car park for residents of the Babylon high-rise. The challenge was in the location. The cofferdam was situated only a few metres from listed buildings such as the Dutch National Archives, the National Library of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our workspace was made even smaller by the fact that other builders were also active in the same spot. In addition, the flyover of the RandstadRail light rail connection – the foundations of which were right in the middle of our cofferdam – had to remain in operation throughout.
Some creative logistical thinking was required. The bottom layer of sediment in the cofferdam was a mixture of water and sand. There was no space for sand removal equipment or a sand pit in the location, so we pumped the sediment to an installation nearby and directly disposed of it from there. Amounting to 12,000 m3, the concrete poured for the foundations was the largest underwater concrete pour in the Netherlands. For five days and five nights, eleven concrete mixers worked round the clock supplying the concrete – and all this took place right in the centre of The Hague. We took our immediate neighbours into account with the approach we used. For example, while a conference was being held at the Dutch National Archives, we simply moved our work to the opposite corner of the cofferdam.
During the construction process, it became clear that Q-park would be running the car park. We enlisted the services of their regular suppliers. In close consultation, we completed the project according to their house style, with the right luxury surfacing, traffic routing and installations. The result was a modern, comfortable car park which visitors were all too pleased to be able to start using.
Thom is Managing Director of Ballast Nedam Park & Connect and, with his team, is involved in the design and construction of high-quality mobility links. Such as parking garages, bridges and viaducts. Everything is based on the principle of the learning organisation and servant leadership: the inverted management pyramid. Thom always keeps his dream in mind; a fully circular living environment. In which people can move around easily, happily and safely and connect with each other.