And it's award-winning too

Parking garages are usually not appealing structures. They're built with lots of ugly concrete, are devoid of any sort of character, and typically aren't even given a second thought. This parking garage in the Netherlands, though, is a different story. It's so unique they gave it an award.

The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects named this subterranean parking garage its 'Building of the Year.' It was built in the small, coastal town of Katwijk ann Zee to blend into the landscape rather than sticking out like an eyesore. And unless you really knew where to look, you probably wouldn't even notice. 

The 670-spot garage serves two purposes: it gives people a place to park, and it's a part of the country's attempts to mitigate flood damage. The entrances along the top of the garage look like sand dunes to blend in with the landscape, but they aren't just for looks. There's a dike hiding under the roughly 106 million cubic feet of sand they used to form those dunes. While they were at it, they decided to build the subterranean parking garage, too. It's an innovative solution to solve flooding issues and improve city infrastructure without destroying the landscape. The idea worked out so well, that they're trying to replicate it around the world, including in Hoboken, New Jersey, where Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc. 

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