The deepest parking garage in the Netherlands is no dark and eerie place. On the contrary, this bright, clean, and spacious underground parking garage feels like a ray of sunshine.

Architecture of Parking Garage Lammermarkt in Leiden Netherlands
Image: Lammermarkt parking garage

The idea was sparked by the Municipality of Leiden, who hired JHK Architects to design a parking garage under the Lammermarkt. The seven-story underground tower, which was finished in 2017, contains 525 parking spaces in a 22-meter-deep parking garage in the center of the city. 

“Visitors particularly value the good functionality and user-friendliness, the light and safe character, and the special experience of the total concept, plus a spiral that goes down seven floors,” Associate Architect at JHK Architects, said.   

For the Lammermarkt garage, Sika provided fast-curing liquid applied floor finishes to protect and finalize the floor surfaces with Sikafloor®378 as a topcoat in a light grey color. This guaranteed efficiency during construction, while reducing life cycle costs of the garage thanks to highly wear-resistant flooring with a beautiful finish.

The Ultimate Parking Experience

Parking in the Lammermarkt is an experience. The circular garage ensures that all floors are spatially connected. This emphasizes the depth, but it’s also the basis for a safe environment that feels pleasant. 

As motorists enter, they drive down a corkscrew. The routing is clear, the parking spaces are wide, and the stairs and elevators are easily found. Important moments from Leiden’s history are visible on the back wall. These illustrations by graphic designer Tom van der Heiden are not only charming, but they also help people find their car again. 

Environmentally Friendly Construction

Lammermarkt parking garage
Image: Beyond the expected

The construction of such a deep parking garage in an inner-city environment was a huge challenge both logistically and technically. The center of Leiden is a car-free zone full of historic architecture. Therefore, building here required extra attention to the environment. 

The garage is also built on a square where the annual October fair “Leidens Ontzet” is organized. Therefore, the garage must be able to carry the very heavy load of fairground visitors and attractions each year. Alongside the shape of the garage, this also posed a technical challenge.

To limit the nuisance, various environmentally friendly construction techniques were used, such as low vibration pressing of sheet piling, and the application of concrete diaphragm walls 30 meters deep. In total, more than 60,000 cubic meters of soil were excavated for the garage. Taking all this land away by truck would have been daunting – about sixty trucks per day would be required to remove the soil. That’s why the architects installed a 5 km pressure pipe. The soil was transported through the canals to a depot outside the city, which saved about 2500 truck trips through the inner city of Leiden.

As a result of these efforts, the Lammermarkt parking lot was awarded the ESPA Gold Award, which is given on behalf of the EPA (European Parking Association) to garages with an excellent score on safety, quality, and customer-centricity.

So, leave those spooky garage park scenes for the movies. The Lammermarkt garage confounds old stereotypes with a logical concept, beauty, and technology that naturally wins over visitors. With 693 stellar reviews on Google Maps, it’s clear that there’s no competition when it comes to the style of carparks.

Lammermarkt parking garage, Netherlands
Image: Cars in the Lammermarkt parking garage