The EKP site, found amongst the railway tracks of ’s Hertogenbosch (NL), is being transformed by SDK Real Estate (VolkerWessels) into a lively and creative area for living, working and learning. The development strategy and design were drawn up by a team consisting of Studioninedots and DELVA Landscape Architecture | Urbanism.
The centre piece of the areas transformation is the former EKP building, which is currently operating as the temporary location of the art academy AKV | St.Joost. With this as a starting point, a mixed program has been integrated with public space, mobility and nature. EKP is reconnected to the city on multiple levels and gets a strong creative identity. The Municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NS Stations and PostNL Real Estate announced the winner of the tender on location today.
Central to the EKP site is the former post-depot, which is now being used temporarily by the art academy. The spaciousness and unpolished appearance of the depot make it an inspiring working and learning environment for students and teachers. The team of developers and designers recognised the role of this “cultural booster” and want to build upon these existing qualities by offering space for creative workspaces restaurants and education. Under the name KuBus, the complex will be transformed for permanent use, but will have an unfinished feel, facilitating unpredictability and experiments.
Together, with the accompanying program, this will make KuBus the beating heart of EKP. The appearance of KuBus extends far beyond the building. A series of pavilions and plinths make up the public space of the building and encourage a creative vibe that does justice to the characterisation of the EKP site as a cultural landscape. This makes the area a link in the cultural axis of ’s Hertogenbosch, including Verkadefabriek, Tramkade and Grassoterrein. The young and dynamic EKP thus enriches the city’s position of Cultural City of the South.
Green and water
KuBus fits in with its environment with its dynamic living and working environment. The buildings are placed in an open structure and along diagonal view lines that lead to KuBus from the city around EKP. The fabric of squares and visible axes fully integrates into that composition. The plinths and spaces between the buildings offer room for, among other things, studios and creative activities; with housing above them.
The green inner world becomes a wandering environment where there is always something to discover. In addition, the water structures and the location of EKP on the river ‘Dieze’ will be used to get more greenery and water into the area. The softer river bank makes EKP a neighbourhood with an attractive waterfront. Water is the leading theme that make EKP a sustainable, healthy and nature-inclusive area. The design of the public space refers, in a contemporary way, to the design and ideas of Mien Ruys.
Unity within the design and the reintroduction of a modular system form the basis for a pleasant green living, working and learning environment with room to meet, experiment and space for art. Within this unity there is room for adaptable spaces to tailor to a specific use. As a whole, the EKP site seeks to connect with its environment and the urban spaces of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Climate adaptivity and nature inclusivity are self-evident and inspire the design of the active squares.
“EKP is transforming from a blind spot in the city into an inspiring quarter full of creativity. An ingenious configuration of urban design results in a series of interesting places in public space, from a makers’ court to a park on the water of the river Dieze. EKP is a destination for the future.” Steven Delva, DELVA Landscape Architecture / Urbanism. Source by Studioninedots and DELVA.
- Location: Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
- Architect: Studioninedots
- Landscape: DELVA Landscape Architecture / Urbanism
- Design team: Steven Delva, Rogier Hendriks, Roy Straathof
- Partners: AKV | St.Joost, Skonk
- Advisors: Peutz, Sweco, VOLQ, Huisman & Van Muijen, WSP InfraDevelopment
- Client, developer: SDK Vastgoed (VolkerWessels)
- Plot: 4.5 ha
- Bvo: 75,000 m2
- Design realization: 2019 – 2027
- Image: Proloog, Courtesy of DELVA Landscape Architecture / Urbanism