In a significant urban development initiative, the parking lot at Europapark, opposite the Euroborg, will soon undergo a transformation into the new district of ‘Vief Kwartier.’ According to the Groninger Internet Courant, this mixed urban neighborhood will comprise approximately 315 residences and provide space for amenities such as a hotel, offices, and shops. A park is envisioned for the central area of this community. The collaboration agreement for the further planning and realization of ‘Vief Kwartier’ was signed at Let’s Gro by Alderman Rik van Niejenhuis and ABC Vastgoed’s director, Patrick Schlick.
People under thirty may not remember the iconic Hunzecentrale that used to be located in Europapark. This power plant was demolished in 1998 after nearly three decades of faithful service. It left behind an empty expanse, or more accurately, two and a half hectares of land with 5,500 remaining piles and a massive concrete foundation. The repurposing of the site was repeatedly postponed, and it has since been used as a parking lot. The ‘Vief Kwartier’ plans are set to change that.
Green vision for Europapark
‘Vief Kwartier’ is envisioned by the parties involved as a lively and green city district, offering comfort for both living and working. The central green park in the area will connect to the north with a green passage leading to the Zuiderplantsoen and the city center.
The buildings in the neighborhood will be arranged in a stepped configuration around the central area, with lower heights on the inside and taller structures on the outside. This design ensures that the buildings do not enclose the park like a wall, keeping the park well-lit and inviting.
Eco-friendly approach to building new district
According to the parties involved, the primary focus is to construct all buildings primarily from wooden modular components that are entirely reusable. Furthermore, the foundation of the former Hunzecentrale will be repurposed. The new buildings will be constructed on top of the massive concrete block and pilings. Director Patrick Schlick explains, “This is related to our proposed construction method. By using mostly wooden components, we achieve not only high sustainability but also significantly reduce the load on the foundation, allowing for reuse.”
This approach, combined with plans to use wood and organic, sustainable materials in construction, could result in the area being built with very low emissions and possibly even being carbon-neutral.
Mixed-use neighborhood in the making
‘Vief Kwartier’ is designated for a mixed-use program encompassing approximately 62,000 square meters. Half of this space will be dedicated to residential use, and the other half will host various functions such as offices and a hotel. The plan includes 20 percent social housing, as well as moderately-priced rental, affordable homeownership, and some upscale homeownership. An intention agreement has been signed with the housing corporation Lefier for the construction of social housing.
Particularly along the exterior of the developed area, such as along the Boumaboulevard, space will be allocated for businesses. On the interior, surrounding the park, more residences, including social housing, moderately-priced rental, affordable homeownership, and some penthouses, will be constructed.
The construction of ‘Vief Kwartier’ will occur in phases. The corner of Boumaboulevard – Van Elmptstraat is the first area to be developed. A change to the zoning plan is required to add housing in this location.
ABC Vastgoed is collaborating with entities including architectural firms vector-i from Groningen and EFFEKT from Copenhagen, landscape architecture firm Felixx from Rotterdam, Traject as sustainability advisor, and engineering firm BREED ID from The Hague for the foundation.