An important part of the station development in Aalst, Belgium, is the realization of the new shuttle parking just north-west of the train station. Where in the current situation almost the entire site is used as a parking lot for (train) commuters from the Aalst region, the new car park will have more than the same capacity within a footprint of only 3,450 square meters. Located between Brussels and Ghent, Aalst is conveniently located for commuters; In the direction of Aalst, traffic is relatively light and people can change trains there on their way to work in the two aforementioned cities. Aalst itself is also an advantageous location for many companies in terms of accessibility.
The shuttle car park will offer 900 parking spaces in an elongated triangular building of seven stories high (one of which is underground) and with a total area of 24,526 square meters. Entry to the car park is via an underground tunnel that is accessible from the Tragelweg. The construction of the garage as a double helix provides an eight-shape plan. Parking takes place on the ramps; only the two building heads have horizontal parking spaces. The ramps are connected to each other in the heart of the building. This layout gives the most efficient parking space (cars per surface) within the building contour and the very compact lot, while maintaining spatial quality, sufficient daylight, good orientation and social safety. The two triangular voids also contribute greatly to these aspects.
The shuttle parking has a central entrance staircase on the side of the station. Two additional stairwells are automatically unlocked in the event of a calamity. The building is constructed entirely of prefab concrete elements (columns, beams and hollow-core slabs). The facade is made of preserved softwood that has a beautiful natural look and is maintenance-free. The combination of varying dimensions in the length and depth of the facade slats gives all façades a playful and dynamic appearance, constantly changing according to the viewing direction and distance to the building. The long horizontal openings that have been arranged alternately articulate the scale of the car park. On ground floor level, the façade is made up of broad profilit glazing. Together with the aforementioned voids, the open façade structure ensures good natural ventilation of the entire car park and ample daylighting. Energy-saving LED lamps are used for lighting in the evenings.