We were commissioned to assist the municipality of Groningen to develop a masterplan to regenerate and revitalise the CiBoGa Terrein, a 14ha industrial, polluted site on the edge of Groningen’s city centre. The project has since become a Dutch national pilot scheme for sustainable urban renewal. The site, situated on the old ramparts of the city and historically a place of transition and movement, called for a design approach with public and communal spaces that could deliver both urban character and suburban qualities. We identified the role of the site in the city’s ecological structure and led research into new forms of housing typologies and energy use. The masterplan is based on five organising principles: (1) to cap the polluted ground with underground parking (2) to convert existing industrial buildings for new public uses (3) to create a mix of live/work residential units (4) to support the residential accommodation with shops and collective functions (5) to create a strong, clear identity for the landscape and public spaces. Industrial buildings on the site is restored and rented out for cultural activities and the new residential accommodation is concentrated in 13 ‘schotsen’ - compact residential blocks with collective internal courtyards.
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