The Merwedekanaal zone is the largest new building site in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The area of approximately 65 hectares will be transformed into an attractive new district with about 6.000 new homes. The former defence area is the first area in the Merwedekanaal zone to be developed by the municipality of Utrecht and area developer BPD.
The New Defence
The New Defence is the name of the first new residential area to be realised by developer BPD (Bouwfonds Property Development), with approx. 600 homes, facilities and an attractive city park. Its proximity to the centre of Utrecht and the Central Station as well as the presence of iconic buildings makes this area a favourable location. Within the masterplan of SVP Architectuur en Stedenbouw, OKRA works in a team with MLA+, ANA architects, Arup, Sweco, CROSS Architecture and EFFEKT.
The New Defence will be a green and car-free area, with optimal routes for pedestrians and cyclists. The new district will be designed climate-proof, based on the principles of the healthy city. Cars will have limited space in the area due to an ambitious mobility concept while pedestrians and cyclists will move through a gradient of public spaces in the most natural way possible.
A new biotope will be designed for the area to enrich biodiversity and environmental changes. Local plant species are cleverly combined with new species which is beneficial for a healthy ecosystem that is less vulnerable to plant diseases. OKRA has also developed an integrated water management strategy designed to maximise water retention and reuse rainwater. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of this year.