The Albert Cuyp underwater parking garage, designed by ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects, has been selected by the jury as the 2019 Architizer A+Awards winner in the Architecture + Urban Transformation category.

Bas Symons, project architect at ZJA: “We are very honored with this Architizer A+Award for the Albert Cuyp underwater parking garage in Amsterdam and the recognition by the jury. The Albert Cuyp parking garage is a beautiful example of how a neighborhood can transform and create more public space for residents in a densely populated city with limited urban space. An ideal prototype for other cities with limited space above ground."

Invisible under a canal

The Albert Cuyp parking garage was built by Max Bögl Nederland B.V. and commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam with the aim to increase the quality of life in De Pijp neighborhood in Amsterdam and to make better use of the scarce public space. The parking garage reveals almost nothing at street level, as it is completely concealed under an existing canal to blend into the urban landscape. The parking garage not only creates space for parking by making efficient use of the limited public space, but also offers space for relaxation, planting and playing children.

Transformation of a neighborhood

There was little room for plants, cyclists and pedestrians in the narrow streets of De Pijp neighborhood. Moreover, the parking pressure was high, resulting in a lot of search traffic. In the Frans Hals neighborhood in De Pijp, almost all parking places at street level have been removed and relocated to the parking garage. Former parking spaces have been redesigned to create more public space for new playgrounds, plants and squares. This has transformed the neighborhood into an attractive area with more space for cyclists, pedestrians and greenery. The quality of life in Amsterdam's De Pijp neighborhood has improved immeasurably with more spacious, greener and quieter streets and an almost car-free neighborhood has emerged.

Floating water gardens

The arrival of the Albert Cuyp garage in De Pijp neighborhood means there is more room for plants, flowers and trees in the streets which blends in nicely with the greenery on the water of the Boerenwetering. Along the banks of the Boerenwetering, on the roof of the Albert Cuyp parking garage, the fifty-five floating water gardens have returned, which the residents of De Pijp have been tending to for more than twenty years. They are made of large wooden boxes in which different aquatic plants grow, which not only improves the water quality, but also the view of the bare quay walls. The water gardens also offer waterfowls safe breeding grounds.


The Architizer A+Awards, based in New York, is one of the largest architecture awards being organized and is an important recognition of the best architecture projects of the year.