The small town of Winterswijk -at the borders with Germany- is facing a high rate of vacancy on the edges of its retail centre. At the same time, 700.000 people from neighbouring regions are attracted by its medieval heritage and local markets, which results to a steady growth of both the number of visitors and residents. Our work focused on one hand in tackling the vacancy around the towncentre and on the other hand in restoring its cultural and natural heritage. At Weurden, we shifted the entrance of the city and created a new loop for shoppers based on a new circulation model. The edge of the street -that suffered the most- can now be developed with housing. On the other edge of the centre, the proposal for a brand new public park was based on finding appropriate uses for the large empty buildings around it. The concept of urban land reallotment became the tool to bring-in more private parties.

program | Redevelopment proposals for retail, housing & culture within historic centre

info | 2016, Winterswijk, NL

type | Professional work for WeLoveTheCity, Rotterdam

role | Designer & planner within team in current project phase

responsibilities | Concept development, 2d & 3d drawings and illustrations

client | Winterswijk municipality

read more | Ruilplan Winterswijk

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Cultural & natural heritage

The developments during the 80’s and 90’s have left their mark in Winterswijk, especially concerning the covering up of the only small river that goes through the town. Today, Gemeente and Waterschap look forward to restoring it. For our proposal, we split the total area into 4 locations where the intervention has different impact to the immediate surroundings, as well as different challenges during the realisation process. The old textile factory on one of those locations can become a valuable asset for Winterswijk. Situated at the intersection between the town entrance and the new parking, the complex offers ideal opportunities for functions that are either missing or not suited for the centre, like a cinema and a hotel.

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Urban design guidelines for retail zone

NS and Gemeente are collaborating to create a new shopping area at the former rail zone in order to relieve the centre from large retailers, like home and garden stores. The elaboration of a new set of urban design guidelines (Beeldkwaliteitsplan) was needed to ensure the spatial quality: The surrounding green structure offers biodiversity and acts as a connecting zone for local bird species and bees. The 5 different buildings form one architectural family in terms of materialisation and detailing. Public space has a unified floor surface that gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists. A smart advertisement concept is initiated, concentrated around the entrance points.

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