Warming up the city’s heart
After being intensely bombed during WW2, the city of Hengelo has been extensively reconstructed. Most of the buildings have been rebuilt in a modern style and a few icons mark the streetscape. The public realm of the city centre has been revamped in the 2000s. A functional and neutral grey concrete palette has been applied and dedicated bike lanes laid out crossing the city centre. The streetscape has been left cluttered and full of appliances. Competing with neighbours’ cities, the city needed to renew its attractiveness and reinvent itself. The project focused on providing a sense of cosiness and warmth through laying out a generous and welcoming brick carpet throughout the city centre. Part of the concrete stones has been reused to mark the edge of the carpet in direct contact with buildings.
Heritage in motion
Inspired by the former brooks that used to irrigate the city centre, and the industrial heritage of Hengelo, a metaphoric steel river has been designed as a ludic and dynamic element tying up the different places of the city centre. A wide patterned steel grate is laid out as a continuous gutter with a changing pattern and integrated art pieces. Unfolding itself as a paperclip along with the different spatial sequences of the street, it connects the different spaces together and creates a distinctive signature for the city centre.
Inviting places to stay
A great deal of attention has been given to enhance the main landmarks of the old Lambertus Church and the Italian-style town hall which was rebuilt in the 1950s. Generous gardens with long benches have been laid out, turning difficult height differences into green urban stages and inviting places to stay for all.