THE NEW HEART OF A REDEVELOPED NEIGHBOURHOOD The Dr. Struyckenplein forms part of an urban development plan dating from the 1950s and 1960s. The symmetrical square owes its name to the road Dr. Struyckenstraat running through it. Over the years, the appearance and the quality of both sections of the square have diminished. To redress the situation, the square has been thoroughly overhauled. Ad Vingerhoets, project manager at the WonenBreburg Housing Corporation, was closely involved in the redevelopment.
The Dr. Struyckenpleinis part of an urban development plan designed by architect F.P.J. Peutzfor the post-war Heuvel neighbourhood. Vingerhoetsexplains: “Heuvel is a redeveloped neighbourhood. The development plan specifies that the standard of amenities should be upgraded. Shops selling daily items had moved out of Dr. Struyckenplein. So the square had to undergo a complete overhaul to remedy this situation.” Today, the square is characterised by three blocks, which accommodate commercial premises in the plinth and apartments on the upper levels. “The largest one is the ‘shopping block’ with two supermarkets and other shops selling daily items. On the other side of Dr.Struyckenstraat, there are two smaller buildings: the ‘social block’ accommodating a gym and a restaurant as well as a block intended as business premises.”
WITH REFERENCE TO THE SURROUNDING AREA The architecture is primarily geared to Dr. Struyckenstraat, the street that runs diagonally through the square. The course of the street is reflected in the buildings, since they are cut off at an angle. “A building should correspond to its surroundings”, says Vingerhoets. “The buildings have therefore been designed as omni-directional structures, without a clear-cut front or rear.”
COMPLEMENTING THE EXISTING FAÇADES Owing to the surrounding area, brick was deliberately chosen as a façade material. “The Dr. Struyckenpleinis located adjacent to residential buildings designed by architect F.P.J. Peutz, which feature a ‘tactile façade’ with a unique texture. The new buildings on the square needed to be in keeping with this. Terca´sMarzialehandformat WF brick was the natural choice, because this brick has a modern appearance and a colour that matches the existing buildings.” Due to its scope, the redevelopment of the Dr. Struyckenplein required a multi-annual plan. “Although the last apartments were not completed untilthe end of 2014, initial reactions are positive. The Dr. Struyckenplein has been reinstated as the heart of the Heuvel neighbourhood, precisely as once intended by architect F.P.J. Peutz.”