Municipality of Eindhoven / Ontwikkelingscombinatie Willemsstraat (development partnership)
period of design:
2000 - 2004
2003 - heden
design of master plan, development plans and implementation preparation
in partnership with:
van Aken architects
compact housing area close to the inner city of Eindhoven
The Regentekwartier (Regents’ quarter) is a new, high-grade, compact housing area that is being realised on the grounds of the old Philips site on the edge of the inner city of Eindhoven. In close proximity to the 'White Lady', a 30-storey residential tower ‘the Regent’, designed by Aken architects and a number of orthogonally arranged building blocks with approximately 450 apartments, has been erected here.
The Municipality of Eindhoven aspired to realise an inner city residential environment here in the immediate vicinity of the city centre, which would be marked by its excellent architecture and layout of its public space. MTD landschapsarchitecten was commissioned at the end of 2002 to draw up a development plan for the public space of the Regentekwartier.
With the entrance square of the Regentekwartier which is situated between the 'White Lady' and ‘The Regent’, the development plan endeavours to create a habitable area, which, in itself ‘more or less separates it from the dynamism and intensive traffic movements of its environment. This effect is brought about by three sections of the square at different levels. The individual sections of the square differentiate themselves with regard to use of materials, intention and use, in which the upper section, the actual square, is mainly intended as a place to stay. The materials used in this part of the square are cobblestones placed within a zinc-plated steel edging, in which the line drainage determines an orthogonal pattern. In an ostensibly random pattern there are wooden lighting columns and long wooden benches pointing in the same direction. At intervals, the 15 metre long benches fold themselves around a frame in a different manner, which creates a variety of benches and can be used for various reasons; sitting benches, resting benches, lazing-about benches, leaning benches.
A central axis connects the entrance square to the rest of the housing area and the 3 inner gardens situated between the residential buildings. The axis has a stone character with a runner of cobblestones and it has high zinc-plated steel light masts positioned in the centre of the profile. The internal gardens which are situated above an underground parking garage can be accessed from the central axis. In contrast to the square and the axis they have a ‘green’ character. To a large degree the image is determined by raised lawns, enclosed by gabions and heavy anthracite grey ties. In the grass, magnolias, currents and cherries have been planted at random which blossom at different times during spring. The grassy areas are accessible via wedge-shaped, stepped wooden decks, which also act as concealed ventilation openings for the parking garage.
Other than the two outermost courtyards, the middle one has a public character. Here, in contrast to the more private courtyards where semi-paving has been used, the hard surfacing has been realised in anthracite-coloured tiles. The altercation between the paving and grassy areas provides an attractive spectacle for the residents in the apartments when seen from above.