De Nieuwe Stad
Amersfoort

  • Date: 2013
  • Location: Amersfoort, The Netherlands
  • Status: In progress
  • Client: SchipperBosch / Gemeente Amersfoort
  • Area: 55.000 m2, Oliemolenhof 5000m2

The core idea for the development of De Nieuwe Stad (New City)– a unique area and mix of unpolished factories and renovated historic buildings, west of Amersfoort’s city centre – is acknowledging cities originate through the confluence of people, trade, production, nutrition, energy, and ideas. This area was originally a rural location before serving for many years as an industrial area.

De Nieuwe Stad is a borderless city that won’t saturate. A city gradually formed by its users and not planned at once in advance. A city that wants to be a city within a city. A city with its own regulations and freedoms. In short: a place to experiment with prospective principles of urban development. A city that understands ‘city making’ as a Gesamtkunstwerk created from the co-operation between citizens, politicians, developers, urbanists, and bureaucrats.

ZUS developed the master plan, designed the public space, and wrote the ‘Ambition Document’ together with the clients and users as a record of guidelines for further development. ZUS is currently fulfilling the role of urban curator, providing direction to the advancing developments, unexpected initiatives, and new insights.

The project kicked off with the construction of the central square, ‘Oliemolenhof', a circular arena that due to its slightly sunken position can household water and also influence its conditions; creating a swimming pool in summer or an ice rink in winter. An arboretum of forty different trees surrounds it. Through the installation of the public space, private development plots are shaped, providing space for developments to occur at different moments in time, one event stimulating and provoking the next. The idea behind this project is a script of permanent temporality, where temporal and permanent developments coexist and build up the evolutionary model of De Nieuwe Stad.