Winning design for development in the Zwolle railway zone by LAP and OZ

OZ and LAP Landscape & Urban Design have created the winning design for the redevelopment of the Hanzebad site in the railway zone in Zwolle. The Gildenhof plan includes 242 homes in an urban landscape inspired by the characteristic Zwolle IJssel Delta.

In the coming years, Zwolle municipality wants to transform the railway zone in the city into an area with a mix of business, education, culture and housing. The redevelopment of the Hanzebad site is one of the first projects in the area. The team of the development combination Trebbe-Dura Vermeer, OZ and LAP Landskab & Urban Design has been named the winner of the tender.

Plan Gildenhof
The planned area covers approximately 2.2 hectares and is within walking distance of the station, surrounded by office buildings and homes. The desire from the municipality was to realize approximately 200 sustainable rental and owner-occupied homes, of which 50 in the social segment. The municipality also wanted a maximum of 4,000 m2 other program.

The Gildenhof plan adds 242 homes, designed by OZ. The landscape design is by LAP. OZ and LAP are jointly responsible for the urban development concept. The design of the Gildenhof should make walking, cycling and public transport the most natural way to get around.

Freestanding blocks
The existing blue Linsebro, a national monument, is a special object in the area. For pedestrians, it connects the location with Assendorp and the city center. This is where Gildenparken begins, which together with the adjacent Koggepark will form the green backbone of the railway zone. The design places the buildings as a family of detached blocks in a green city park.

The diverse program is reflected in the buildings’ diverse architecture, where both design and scale are aligned with the environment. For example, buildings on the northern side of the area fit into the building scale along the railway; on the south side, the scale is smaller to match Stockholm Street.

Different biotopes
The landscape is inspired by the typical Zwolle IJssel Delta, which is characterized by river plains as water buffers, with lush grasslands, a rich ecology, height differences and as a result different habitats. In the park, a wide water buffer adjoins the new waterway, which is rich in vegetation. The plan also provides for places with rough, flowering grasslands and two cover gardens with perennials. Central to the plan is the lawn in the public space.

Sowing with native herbs not only creates a natural habitat for humans, but also for animals and insects, says LAP. In combination with the lake shore along the watercourse, an interesting cycle of biotopes should be created here.

Movement and relaxation
According to the architects, Gildenparken must also function as a link at area, neighborhood and generational level. The plan allows for natural play areas on the water, a mini-open-air theater, a communal kitchen garden, a large picnic table and “enough space under the trees to hold a picnic, for example”.

A fitness track and other facilities should encourage healthy behavior. The park will have a natural walking and cycling route to the station for office users. “An additional bridge over the water makes a detour possible for anyone living or working in the area,” the architects say.

Places to meet
The meeting is an important starting point in Gildenhof. To this end, the plan offers collective sites, such as the Gilden Pavilion and the Gilden House. The Guild Pavilion will be located in the heart of the park, will be realized with a circular approach and will act as a ‘place maker’ during the development process. After this, the building also forms a meeting place.

De Kas is centrally located in the Gildenhof and provides central access to the underground car park. In addition, collective garden tools for the kitchen garden can be stored here.

Gildenhuis will be located between the railway bridge and Gildenhof; it needs liveliness and coherence in this part of the railway zone. It provides space for meeting opportunities and a collective of entrepreneurs – “the guild of the day”, according to LAP and OZ – with the daily facilities for the neighborhood.

The price from the municipality is the starting signal for further development. Construction is expected to begin in late 2023.

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