Gasthuiskwartier urban redevelopment
2013 ongoing, 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
The Groot Ziekengasthuis, namely the Gasthuiskwartier (formerly GZG-terrein) is a 5 hectare area of derelict sanatorium site situated in the Northeast part of 's-Hertogenbosch city center. The hospital used to be one of the oldest healthcare facilities in the Netherlands. After its relocation in 2006, the remaining buildings were left behind waiting to be repurposed. These monumental buildings still remind us of the dominant role that the hospital once played in medical care history of the municipality of 's-Hertogenbosch during the period between 17th century until recent years. They are important national architectural heritage of the country.
Marrying new homes to heritage: A perfect unison
Since 2013, West 8 has been assigned to steer the urban redevelopment of Gasthuiskwartier. A master plan was drawn up and made public after the planning approval in 2015. West 8's new plan intends to create a new anchor at the historic center with quality urban dwellings and diverse public functions that fits the distinct character and cohesion of historic center of 's-Hertogenbosch city, where old and new, historic monuments and distinctive new homes altogether form a ‘perfect unison’.
West 8's new plan is signified by a layout of a number of new streets within the site. These streets define integrated urban forms, connecting the area with the surrounding iconic historical monuments and ensure that the continuity of existing urban structure to be retained within the city center.
The creation of these new streets with diversified buildings façades that resonate with the historical character of the city is the leitmotif of West 8's master plan for the entire area. A list of architect offices with very diverse styles were chosen to design the new architectural plans. Much attention was paid on the design of these wide-ranging façades.
On top of that, the public space further developed by West 8 has the opportunity to serve as a car-free zone that dedicates to pedestrians and cyclists use, thanks to the idea to convert the basement floors of the former hospital site into a collective parking garage. Aiming to secure the sight lines of the historical and monumental architecture, volumes and heights of new buildings blocks are being reduced to give room to a pleasant and serene public space.
This new mixed-use planning (with the arrival of around 100 entrepreneurs working in various sectors), combined with the design of public space with attentive transition spaces between public and private, between old and new, will achive a new strong scenic streetscape with a viable urban environments.
Construction activities to prepare the site for the first phase of the transformation was started in 2016 and the work has carried on until to date. In a few years, the Gasthuiskwartier will be transformed, in several sub-phases, from a formerly overshadowing sanatorium site into a new ‘stray area’ at the historic center of ‘s-Hertogenbosch city, offering serenity to the citizens and visitors alike.
- Heijmans, AM Wonen
- architects of diverse housing blocks and architecture within the urabn plan: Bedaux, Mulleners & Mulleners, Thomas Kemme, Houben Van Mierlo Architecten, Jan Krielaars, HP architecten and West 8
- Edzo Bindels, Marco van der Pluym, Penne Hangelbroek