Urban Nature . Europan 12 . Assen


In Assen the municipality and large developers no longer have the resources to redevelop the harbor area in a top down way. What further complicates matters is that currently the land is owned by a large number of different landowners. How to improve the area, how to achieve change in the future?

We propose to use the fact of the fragmented landownership as a starting point for a new development strategy. Plots of land could be renewed pieces by piece, grain by grain, like replacing the (dis)functional components of a machine. As the changes that appear are led by personal demand rather than economic investment alone, the change in the city will be achieved by a quiet accumulation of urban elements rooted in the daily life of its inhabitants. The current grain, large scale plots and buildings provide the area with a strong industrial identity. These frames will be preserved and become the envelops for future developments.

In addition to this slower grain development, a catalyst will be proposed at the heart of the harbor area to kick start the re-development. This new development will be like an urban infrastructure, programmatically and spatially rooted in the daily lives of its users. A group form, an evolving system of generative elements in space, utilizing positive as well as negative spaces. This new living collective accommodates housing areas, offices, floating restaurants and gardens. It may grow gradually over time and can thus anticipate dynamically to the wishes and demands of new users and investors.

Architect: STUDIO MAKS
Team: Marieke Kums, Diana Ciufo, Aster Sittoni, Geerte Baars, Yihan Xiang, Kevin Westerveld,
Status: Europan 12, 2nd prize

Type: Masterplan / mixed (housing) development
Location: Assen Harbor area, the Netherlands
Size: 23 HA / 10.000 m2
Client: Europan 12, City of Assen

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