Casanova+Hernandez architects | L010_Schuytgraaf-field 2a. Public Space


L010_Schuytgraaf-field 2a. Public Space

Arnhem, Netherlands

Schuytgraaf is a new urban settlement developed in a short period of time. Most of the dwellings are single-family houses and row houses with private gardens. The new housing development generated simultaneously brings to the area new neighbours without any feeling of collectivity.

The urban plan for the field 2a is articulated around a continuous public space created by five small squares that, due to their reduced size and their function as “entrance hall” for the dwellings, become public-collective spaces. These spaces are car-free places to meet, to play, to talk, etc.

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The landscape of each square is associated with a different activity and linked to a specific theme related with the history and the natural landscape around the site. These relations try to promote the collective identity of the new inhabitants.

All the area is proposed as a ‘shared-space’ one, were sidewalks and areas for cars are only distinguished by sings printed on the pavement, but with no difference in height or material.

The design plays with the contrast between natural and artificial, real and representation, authentic and imitation.

The four themes developed in the squares are:

1 “Roman ruins’

2 “Dikes’

3 ‘Flowers bed’

4 ‘Fruit trees’

Square 1: roman ruins

In the surroundings of Arnhem South there are some Roman ruins that have served as inspiration for the design of one of the squares.

A classic pattern, based on Roman mosaics, will be translated into vegetation areas and pedestrian paths.

Trees and plants define the layout of the paths and the places for benches and other urban elements that will be integrated into the design.

The used vegetation and flowers will grow wild and will give the effect of real ruins to the square.

Square 2: dikes

The dikes mark the border of a game area for children and protect them from the busy areas around it.

The dikes present a harder side on the outside and a soft green slope on the inside. Two big trees are planned in the square giving shadow on specific spots, but the rest of the square is kept open for the children to run freely.

Square 3: flowers bed

Two big red ‘bubbles’ made of flowers and smaller red elements around the foot of the trees create the sequence of perspectives that characterize this square.
Some quite high trees which leaves will turn into red in autumn, enclose the square.

Square 4: fruit trees square

A green area will contain some fruit trees characteristic of the natural surroundings of Arnhem South, thus giving the impression of living directly connected to nature.

The trees will be planted very close to each other to create a natural canopy of leaves, fruits and flowers.

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GEM Schuytgraaf Beheer B.V
Public space
Design phase
5.000 m²