Parking Garage Sint Jan
Instantly in the mood for a day in Den Bosch
An underground parking garage opened on the periphery of Den Bosch’s cozy historic center in 2015. This is to provide parking for a growing stream of visitors and day-trippers to the North Brabant capital. From the Municipality, a day in Den Bosch should already start in the parking garage. M2uur bv was happy to take on this assignment.
Studio Leon Thier, The Hague
M2uur bv, Ruben Atayan, Martijn Bronswijk, Kim Heesakkers
Westag Print-HPL, Egger ProAkustik, Qpanel
Year of realization:
Program of Requirements
Together with the Municipality of Den Bosch, the architects of Studio Leon Thier and contractor Heijmans, M2uur bv drew up a program of requirements to bring atmosphere and experience into the garage by means of art. In this plan of requirements hard requirements for durability, fire safety and resistance of materials are included. It also describes the three positions where there is room for art: above the vehicle entrance, in the stairwell and around the floor corridors. And more attention was paid to the soft conditions: what atmosphere do we want to achieve, how do we give (new) talent a chance and what type of expressions are we looking for? During the realization phase, the program of requirements always functioned as a source and calibration document: a pleasant way to keep a grip on an extensive creative project.
Above the recessed vehicle entrance is a blind retaining wall measuring 10 x 3 meters. On this is a razor-sharp photographic panorama in black and white as a welcome greeting to all visitors. Photographer Martijn Bronswijk took care of the photography and composed the composite photo from a series of shots. This is how the high final resolution was achieved. In order not to be too distracting for motorists and to fit in well with the color palette of the entrance, black-and-white was chosen. The photo was reproduced on lightweight but impact-resistant Qpanel panels. The closed surface and partly self-cleaning capacity of this material make it very maintenance friendly.
On the three mezzanines in the central stairwell, three maps of Den Bosch are depicted. On the basis of these maps, visitors take a journey through time. From reproductions of the maps of Van Deventer (about 1560) and Blaeu (about 1695) to today. For the contemporary map, M2uur bv engaged the Belarusian artist Ruben Atayan. As one of the few in the world, he has mastered the art of drawing a map by hand from a birds-eye perspective. After a brief visit, he worked out the drawing in his studio in Minsk for five months (!). The three maps, each measuring 3 x 3 meters, were digitized and reproduced on Egger ProAkustik panels with perforated Print-HPL. In this way, the acoustics in the stairwell were also substantially improved.
Kim Heesakkers won the pitch among several artists to design 18 works in the pedestrian corridors between the garage and the exits. Heesakkers creates collage works from existing and self-shot photographic images, typographic elements and illustrations. She created six basic designs around six themes. The city archives provided much visual material, and amateur photographers and historians also contributed photographs that Heesakkers incorporated. Each basic design was executed in three color variations, with the color corresponding to that of the signage. The works were executed on Westag’s Print-HPL, which has the highest fire rating.
The Sint Jan Garage in Den Bosch has become one of the most beautiful and friendly garages in the Netherlands. Immediately after its opening, the garage was the first in the Netherlands to receive the European Gold Standard Parking Award. The garage is still considered a textbook example of how an underground parking lot can be beautifully incorporated into a historic setting. In fact, the building and its surroundings add something extra to this decor. M2uur bv is proud to have contributed to this.
Parking Garage Sint Jan