This week, Dutch architect Winy Maas presented the umpteenth impressive plan to modernize Eindhoven city center to Eindhoven City Council – from the comfort of his car while driving in a covered parking lot. It is almost impossible to follow all of this. Eindhoven is transforming at lightning speed from a mid-sized provincial town into an original city center of the thriving Brainport region. The former corporate city is well on its way to doing justice to its international image, also today in the urban sense.
It reminds me of an election platform I spoke about once that had the premonitory title: “From a Town of Pines to a Town with Bullets.” the artwork with giant bowling pins at the beginning of Kennedylaan in Eindhoven by the famous artist “enlarger of everyday objects” Claes Oldenburg had just been erected. That should put the city on the map once and for all was the idea. Incidentally, the use of an Oldenburg bulb was expressly prohibited. I immediately had my doubts, as one would expect. But it seems to be happening now.
Motivated leaders with vision
Notably because a few years ago Eindhoven managed to capture no less than three members of the select club of Dutch star architects who are in demand around the world as supervisors. Adriaan Geuze, Cees Christiaanse and Winy Maas. Three very distinct personalities. Motivated leaders with vision. With Maas as the top scorer. He tirelessly bombards the city with bursts of ideas and proposals. It is paying off.
Subscribe to IO on Telegram!
Unsightly peripheral areas and monotonous industrial areas turn into landscaped parks such as the High-tech campus and the Brainport Park. The latter has also been integrated into the larger area of Van Gogh National Park. Old features and functionality are intertwined and new ones are added everywhere. With as the most important exponent the ‘Brainport Industries Campus“(BIC). A unique ecosystem that spans from vocational high school students to start-ups in the high-tech manufacturing industry.
An oversized infrastructure, typical of Eindhoven, is cleverly used to densify the center. Health and climate protection play a major role, with cutting-edge bio-based palates such as the ‘reUtch Mountains‘popping up in the region. ‘District E“Marks the start of an impressive gateway to the city where the station itself is transformed into a multimodal international mobility hub. The old-fashioned and soulless Heuvelgalerie turns into a mountain of green music. The NRE site in a lively Industrial Village which already looks like a Parisian boulevard. Cohesion, connections, accessibility, walking. And public access to special places such as the rooftop garden above Strijp TQ, which was recently featured on Dutch National TV during Victoria Day.
No demolition, but redevelopment
For a long time, the industrial heritage for which Eindhoven is famous has not been demolished, but rather redeveloped. Discover the brand new plan of the Schellens factory and the recently renamed Campina site. Then there are the Bunkertoren, De Nieuwe Bergen, Domusdela, the VDMA innovation hub… A mix of culture, offices and housing crowned with an urban forest, and I could go on.
New audience, new residents, new experiences, a new identity with a whole lot of greenery and water. All things which are much more in tune with the new times. It will create a very attractive and innovative city with a lot of support for extraordinary facilities. A city that will also prove to be much more robust economically as a result.
About this column:
In a weekly column, written alternately by Bert Overlack, Eveline van Zeeland, Eugene Franken, Helen Kardan, Katleen Gabriels, Carina Weijma, Bernd Maier-Leppla and Colinda de Beer, Innovation Origins try to find out what the future will be like. These columnists, sometimes supplemented by guest bloggers, all work in their own way on solutions to the problems of our time. So that tomorrow is good. Here are all the previous articles.