Van Heekplein

Enschede The Netherlands

Space through Transformation

The transformation of the southern part of Enschede’s town centre is one of the largest post-war developments that the city has seen. The developments aims are to change a public space dominated by traffic and parking into a new commercial and businesses spaces with underground parking.  The Van Heekplein designed by OKRA, is the square and public domain that forms the hub for the area.

 

Integral Part of the City Centre

The addition to the new commercial and residential development combined with removal of the busy boulevard, all contribute to boosting the southern edge of the city. The former vehicle dominated space becomes an integral pedestrian square surrounded by Casino and department stores alongside the market that takes place on the square. The new pedestrian area remains well connected to public transport and new underground parking, forming a valuable and attractive part of the city.

 

Dynamic Market

Van Heekplein is as big as the Dam Square in Amsterdam. The space that the market requires demands inventive use of the square on market days whilst insuring that on non-market days the square is an attractive and comfortable space. On market days, the area of the square is completely available for the market; on quieter days the movable furniture and mist elements can divide the space and create a pleasant atmosphere. The special lighting effects in the furniture create unique evening identity and contribute to social safety around the square.