WOONSCHEPENHAVEN

Groningen

The site is an area east of the old town center bounded by a developing boulevard to the north and the Eemskanaal to the south including a harbor with an under serviced existing boathouse community (Woonschepenhaven). The project introduces 15,000 m2 of new construction, including 150 housing units, mixed-use buildings, offices, and public spaces for a unique site-specific design. All new construction is prefabricated off site and delivered by canal transport incorporating local shipbuilding and construction industries.

Beginning with the assumption that waterfront property is valuable, the proposal augments the available surface area for such real estate. Five new floating streets extend out into the harbor effectively creating additional coastline and replace the old docks. New floating single-family houses side by side with existing boathouses hookup to the municipal utilities and grey water treatment connections provided by the new infrastructure. Mixed-use residential towers at the end of each street anchor public programs at ground level and ensure an active streetscape. New bike paths, recreational programs, and water taxis introduce additional activities along the surrounding shoreline.

The commercial and mixed-use buildings inland serve a two fold purpose: reinforce the commercial corridor together with the existing businesses and industrial activities already present along the boulevard; and define a porous edge of public spaces and plazas to transition from this urban condition to the intimate public and private residential scale of the harbor. A public park is proposed along a protected riverbed preserving original trees and existing watersheds and new ecosystems are introduced to support diverse animal and plant life. Plant filters and percolation beds are strategically situated to serve as natural catch basin areas to help control flooding and provide natural onsite grey water recycling.

The proposal re-connects the site to the historic center with the development of the boulevard and new activities along the waterways. The new towers along the Eemskanaal will serve as a visible beacon for the new Woonschepenhaven neighborhood identifiable from many areas of the city.

project team: P Rosales, K Kim, S Schaum, J Cavallé, J Zubicoa, M Laguno, E Alda, P Vizintín, S Vorhammer