Utrecht: The Latest Architecture and News
That’s the goal, at least. Mecanoo has released designs for a large-scale development in Utrecht inspired by “blue zone” regions - areas where residents tend live atypically long and healthy lives. Currently there are only five recognized blue zones worldwide: Sardinia, Nicoya, Loma Linda, Okinawa, and Ikaria.
The winners of the Architectural Review 2017 Emerging Architecture Award are Christelle Avenier and Miguel Cornejo. The duo’s social housing project in Paris was selected as winners by the judges. All finalists gathered in Berlin this year to present their projects to a panel consisting of Marina Tabassum, Martyn Hook, and Matthias Sauerbruch. For the last two-years, the jury has received the applications at the World Architecture Festival.
The first phase of what will become the world’s largest bicycle parking garage has opened to the public in Utretch, The Netherlands. Currently with a capacity of 6,000 parking spaces, by late 2018 it will have enough space to house 12,500 bicycles – outpacing the current record holder Tokyo’s 9,400-capacity Kasai underground station in Tokyo. When completed, the garage and its surrounding area will contain space as many as 22,000 bikes.
Peter Pichler Architecture has been selected as the winners of a competition to design a new residential tower complex in the town of Maarssen just outside of Utrecht, Netherlands. Called the “Looping Towers,” the scheme consists of two L-shaped residential towers that connect as their ends to create a figure-eight shape that is optimized for its site.
Located along a main artery connecting the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, the 35,000 square meter complex is envisioned as a “social engine” for the area, which is expected to grow significantly over the upcoming years. The scheme will contain approximately 260 apartments as well as a parking garage and an abundance of amenities, including a unique running track on the roof.
Stefano Boeri Architetti’s next vertical forest project will be found in Utrecht, after the firm was selected as winners in an international competition for the construction of a new urban district in Jaarbeursboulevard. Dubbed the “Hawthrone Tower,” the first Dutch Vertical Forest will be one of two new high-rise towers to rise on the site in the Utrecht city center, located near the Utrecht Central Train Station, alongside a tower designed by Amsterdam-based MVSA studio.
The 90-meter-tall tower will be covered by 10,000 plants of different species (360 trees, 9,640 of shrubs and flowers), aimed at creating “an innovative experience of cohabitation between city and nature.” The green facade will allow Hawthorne Tower to absorb more than 5.4 tons of CO2, scrubbing the air for healthier living conditions for both residents of the tower and the wider city.
Utrecht University’s Urban Futures Studio have announced the 10 finalists for their Post-Fossil City Contest, judged by a jury which included MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. Each of the successful submissions responded to the contest’s call for the design of a sustainable city no longer reliant on non-renewable energy sources. Designers and makers were invited to envision this new future, which “will reshape our cities and everyday lives so radically that it is hard to imagine what it might feel, taste, smell, and look like.”
Out of the 250 total entries, below are the 10 selected finalists along with a snippet of their proposed futures as described by the competition website.