Blooming City Nieuwegein

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Location: Nieuwegein / The Netherlands / Utrecht / Type: Squares and Plazas / Built: 2014 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on November 12, 2014

Bureau B+B stedebouw en landschapsarchitectuur: After completing the urban design plan for the city centre, Bureau B+B created a design for the public space. The position of the new city centre on a mainly raised surface level made planting directly into the ground in the public space almost impossible. This is why the ‘Blooming City‘ theme was introduced as the leitmotif in the design of the pavement, street furniture and plant compartments. The theme reinforces the city’s identity, making it recognizable as a ‘new town’. A pavement of cut-stone in various colours was chosen to cover the entire city centre like a carpet. The pattern of branches and flowers is created by alternating darker and lighter colours in the pavement.

The city centre is divided into a number of spaces: the shopping plaza, the Market, the city boulevard and the city square. The shopping plaza has an upper and a lower level with wide theatrical stairs, a lift and an elevator connecting the two. Planting compartments with perennials and bulbs give the upper level a green character. A flower-patterned fencing, specially designed for the city centre, has been placed on the lower level. This is where the entrances to different amenities, such as the car park and a supermarket, can be found.

The city square is a representative space, where the entrances to both City Hall and the complex of theatres are located. It offers room for events and for a market every Saturday. The trees in the various islands provide colour throughout the year. At least one tree in each cluster of trees will be in full bloom every season and the raised edge around these tree islands offer visitors a place to sit and relax.

The Marketsquare is a space with restaurants, cafés, shops and groups of trees with different types of (flowering) magnolias. The elevated ground level surrounding the trees provides them with enough room for their roots to grow. The rim around the tree clusters is also an inviting bench. From Weverstede, pedestrians pass through a winding, rising street level to reach the plaza. The city boulevard contains a bicycle and a footpath alongside the Doorslag. The plane trees (Platanus acerifolia ‘Tremonia’) and the quay with seating create a pleasant place to relax by the side of the water.

It is impossible to plant trees in every street because a large part of the public space is situated on the roof of an underground car park. Vegetation, which has only been placed in the squares, gives each one its own character and distinctive experience of the seasons. The lighting has for the most part been placed in the façade to keep the surface level open. The litterbins and benches are clustered together, when possible, for a practical public space. The street furniture has a warm presence, sits comfortably and contributes to the pleasant atmosphere in the city centre.

Citycenter “Blooming City Nieuwegein”
Design: 1997 – 2006
Construction 2007 – 2014
Architects: Bureau B+B stedebouw en landschapsarchitectuur
Client: Municipality of Nieuwegein,
Photo Credits: Bureau B+B, Rene Klein, Arjen Smitz
Construction Area: 67.650 m2
Budget: 8.500.000 Euro

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