Heatherwick Studio will design its first-ever project in the Netherlands after being named part of the winning team of an international competition to deliver a new mixed-used civic space in the city of Utrecht.
The studio will be joined by BARCODE Architects for the new Oopen project, which will look to create a new building meant to serve as a hub for culture, work, and leisure in the city’s Jaarbeursplein central square. The pair are teaming with developer Edge for its construction and say it will be developed along lines related to Utrecht's 2040 vision for Healthy Urban Living.
Thomas Heatherwick stated: “This building on Jaarbeursplein is the result of an extraordinary collaboration with the forward-thinking municipality of Utrecht. The leadership team challenged us to create a special place that reflects the urgent need for healthier cities that bring people back together again. The result isn’t just a design for another office building but a thrilling opportunity to activate the square and create a surprising, new public place for this historic city.”
A press announcement noted their intentions toward a varied program, supported by an adaptable steel and timber structure, that includes a nightclub, outdoor skate park, kiosks, a multipurpose sports facility, landscaped terraces, dining options, and ground-level mobility hub.
The studio claims this will be the Netherlands' first net-zero mixed-use high-rise construction. Plans are for construction to start in 2025, with the project's completion expected by the year 2028.
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