The Koopmansplein in Assen will be getting a complete makeover in the near future, and the municipality has commissioned four design agencies to come up with a plan for the square in the heart of the city.
Translation by Hans de Preter and Traci White
Four designs were presented for the new Koopmansplein at De Nieuwe Kolk cultural center in Assen on Wednesday evening. The four Dutch design agencies in the running are OKRA Landschasarchitecten, West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, Bureau B + B Stedebouw en Landschapsarchitectuur, and LAOS Lanschapsarchitectuur en Stedebouw.
There were about 150 people from Assen, including members of the city council, local entrepreneurs and other Assen citizens, present during the design reveal: residents of the municipality can give feedback on the plans until the 23rd of June, and the winning design will be announced on the 27th of June during the TT Festival.
Each of the agencies was tasked with coming up with ways to make the area greener, more child-friendly and more inviting, as well as incorporating elements from the history of Assen in their designs. Agencies drew inspiration from the Asserbos and the TT Circuit, and alderperson Roald Leemrijse told RTV Drenthe that the agencies did an excellent job of sticking to the assignment.
Plans to renovate the square have been in the works since at least 2018. The city would like to area to become more of a hub for retailers and to feature more pedestrian-friendly walking paths. In 2018, the city council set aside 3 million euros for the ambitious overhaul, alongside 3 million euros from the provincial city centre fund and 3 million from other external parties. Changes have already begun coming to the square: in May, a miniature version of the TT Assen race track was created at the Koopmansplein.