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Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Netherlands Architecture News - Mar 30, 2021 - 13:30   5392 views

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Rotterdam-based architecture firm Powerhouse Company has won a competition to design a new urban woodland in Groningen in the Netherlands

The project, named HOLT, will transform the Alo-location and neighborhood in the city of Groningen. HOLT was developed with MWPO together with Nijestee and Nijhuis Bouw. The new plans will create a new green and healthy neighborhood. 

Powerhouse Company collaborated with Houben/Van Mierlo, Vector-i and landscape architect DELVA on this project. 

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

The project will create "a green and healthy Groningen"

Powerhouse Company's design for HOLT emphasizes Groningen’s core value, ‘a healthy and long life, for young and old,’ and highlights its position as the Netherland’s healthiest city. 

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Located next to a cluster of healthcare organizations like the Martini Hospital, HOLT marks the gateway to the new city district with 11 new residential buildings, a tower, three gates, and a park. 

In the masterplan, the project will include 320 homes in total with an urban density in a forest-like environment that will transform the surrounding Corpus Kwartier into a vibrant and diverse neighborhood.  

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

The project will be part forest, part city

HOLT sits at the pivotal point where the city and forest meet. The buildings will be made of compact building mass containing a rich and mixed programme, with plenty of public space. 

The abundant green, water, traffic, ecology, and buildings will be combined together to form a singular ecosystem. By allowing the green zone and the built areas to coincide, the new development is aimed to "create an urban woodland to live in."

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Responding to Climate Change 

"To adapt to the rising temperatures of our changing climate, HOLT harnesses nature’s powerful properties," said Powerhouse Company. 

"A forest is inherently climate resilient – the soil absorbs considerably more rainwater than a paved environment, and it can be 4 degrees cooler than in an urban setting." 

To reduce the need for cooling, the studio chose light-colored facades that reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than dark materials.

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

"The buildings and radical green enter into a dialogue, forming one ecosystem for flora, fauna and people," said Stefan Prins, Architect Partner Powerhouse Company.

"For HOLT’s construction, the studio aims for maximum circularity by reusing building materials, building demountable structures, and by using cross-laminated timber structures where we can – a sustainable and carbon sequestering material."

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

A Rich Architectural Tradition

A series of curved vaults and arches will define HOLT and give the new neighborhood a sense of identity and place, with exceptional plinths that exude quality and comfort. 

"These robust brick-clad buildings, with their timeless quality, are a contemporary nod to Groningen’s historical high-quality housing," added the office.

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Green icon

A green crown at the top of the tower will contain a rooftop bar and create an iconic beacon for the neighborhood – a marker for this new form of living that manifests Groningen’s identity as the healthiest city of the Netherlands.

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Healthy Living for All

"From families and starters, to healthcare professionals and vulnerable young people and the elderly: HOLT provides home to all," continued the firm. 

Besides the public spaces, the studio has paid special attention to providing spaces for people from the many diverse backgrounds to meet. Additionally, homes will be created for those with special needs – making assisted living homes an integral part of the community. 

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Powerhouse Company reveals plans for HOLT, a new urban woodland in Groningen

Site plan. Image courtesy of Powerhouse Company

Project facts

Architects
Powerhouse Company
Houben / Van Mierlo
Vector-i
DELVA Landscape Architecture / Urbanism

Partner in charge: Stefan Prins

Size: circa 35 000 m2

Location: Groningen, NL 

Clients: MWPO, Nijestee, Nijhuis Bouw

Economic Consultant: Guus Balkema, Guusworks

Climate Scientist: Peter Kuipers Munneke

All renderings © Proloog 

> via Powerhouse Company