Havenkwartier, Assen

A strategy for the gradual transformation of Assen’s industrial Havenkwartier (Harbour Quarter), where a programme of temporary uses builds towards a new, lively, mixed neighbourhood.

At the moment the Havenkwartier is an industrial estate, but that is set to change in the near future, as these functions move to new industrial areas on the edge of the city. That presents an opportunity to create a new residential neighbourhood, right next to the city centre, in what is the Netherlands’ fastest growing city. While there is an existing masterplan, development plans have had to be put on hold due to the current economic situation and so new ideas are needed. A long term vision, combined with a programme of temporary uses which build towards it could hold some of the answers – allowing current and new uses to co-exist, while the area transforms more gradually.

The focus is on process, setting out a rough road map, to provide a robust, flexible framework to guide the transformation of the area, by setting priorities for development and laying out a minimum amount of rules to guide it. The scheme also draws on the site’s existing qualities: the plot and building sizes of the industrial area; the water and harbour, its green nature and the large number of mature trees; and its position between the city centre and the green Drentsche Aa area.

There are three zone types – garden, park and woodland – give clues to the direction in which the site should develop, the ‘permanent’ building typologies and uses which could ultimately establish themselves there, as well as the activities that could take place there in the meantime – from cultural events, to office space for new businesses, to community gardens, sports pitches and cafes.

OVERVIEWOverview of the Havenkwartier
NEW BUILDING TYPES + GREEN SPACEThe three zone types that guide development across the site