province of Gelderland; Rijksgebouwendienst gemeente Arnhem
period of design:
2008 - 2009
urban masterplan; urban design; image plan
in partnership with:
new inner city district along the Rhine
The Province of Gelderland decided in 2009 to reaccommodate its civil servants in a new provincial office building. Furthermore, attention needed to be paid to the Prinsenhof area for an expansion of the Department of Justice and to realise an ambition for the Municipality of Arnhem to improve the spatial and habitation quality.
In conjunction with AWG Architects, MTD landschapsarchitecten was commissioned in 2009 by the Province of Gelderland, the Government Buildings Agency and the Municipality of Arnhem, to draw up an urban development plan and an image quality plan for the Prinsenhof. The main objectives were: the development of a centrally urban, high-grade and dynamic city district with a range of urban functions; and a public area that would have renewed purpose as a habitation area and meeting place.
The first strategic challenge in the urban development plan was to enhance the continuity of the green crescent structure and to repair the traditional ‘green circle’ around the inner city of Arnhem; at the intersection of the crescent and Rijnkade, space is created to bring about a renewed coherence of the inner city and the river. To achieve this, it is proposed to narrow down the profile of the central ring road and to introduce new schedules onto the quay in such a way that it strengthens the coherence.
A second strategic challenge in the plans is the redefining of the Markt (the market square); it will be rehabilitated as a fully-fledged city square and will be the hub of slow urban traffic routes. A series of views will be created from the Markt in the direction of the river and towards the John Frost Bridge.
A third objective in the urban development plan involves the positioning of the Province of Gelderland's schedule along the Markt. This not only means that the province will have an address on the Markt, but brings about the possibility of Huis der Provincie (Provincial House), which is a listed building, and the provincial offices being connected with each other, so too in respect of presenting each other; the first being as a formal managing centre and the second as an approachable, accessible public building. The schedule for the Department of Justice and the Public Prosecutor's offices will be positioned in the plans on the crescent side. However, this will only be possible in a second phase (in about 10 years’ time), when the buildings which house the Public Prosecutor's office and BAS-F become available. In this second phase, on the BAS-F building site along the river, a building mass will be erected which, in terms of its main shape and importance, will separate it from the rest of the planning area. Its exclusive positioning calls for a special schedule which will be significant for the entire city.
The urban development plan will include underground parking garages below the offices and residential buildings which are to be realised, and interaction will be sought between the various parking schedules.