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Mecanoo completes mixed-use development in former gasworks site

Mecanoo has completed a new masterplan in the former site of the Regional Energy Supply Company in Hilversum, Netherlands. Inspired by the industrial heritage of the site, Mecanoo's design scheme for the 74,000m2 Villa Industria entails a warm palette of reddish colours and brick material combined with steel and glass.
Image © Mecanoo Architecten

Villa Industria is located in the former gasworks site, which was originally situated outside the city perimeter, but gradually became enclosed by residential developments.

"With the relocation of the gasworks, the opportunity arose to redevelop the site and give it a new name: Villa Industria," said Mecanoo.

Image © Mecanoo Architecten

Priority to public spaces


The masterplan includes 357 dwellings, 400m2 of small-scale businesses, and 4,0002 of sports facilities. Mecanoo gave priority to public spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. By applying recessed parking throughout the site, it frees up space for a green environment with water features and a centrally located park.

The studio designed an eye-catching ensemble of three cylindrical residential buildings, referring to the old gasometers which once stood on the site.

Image © Mecanoo Architecten

The existing swimming pool has been reclad in brick, steel and glass, so it fits the aesthetics of the new building. Robust steel columns support a new sports hall and fitness centre which has been built on top of the swimming pool.

"Modern homes with semi-circular roofs are situated on the site of a former warehouse with a similar shape. The buildings at the perimeter of Villa Industria have the same height as the surrounding residential area. The courtyards consist of private gardens with an intimate character," said the studio.

Image © Mecanoo Architecten

Harmonious materialisation


To create coherence and diversity, Mecanoo used a harmonious materialisation, a sculptural design language, and industrial detailing throughout the masterplan. The architects combined cool materials, such as steel and glass, with warm materials like red to red-brown bricks with subtle relief.

Image © Mecanoo Architecten

"The application of the same bricks for each building creates coherence, whilst variations in the brick sizes and masonry techniques, ornaments and special objects provide diversity," continued the firm.

"The details of each building refer to the particular history of the gasworks site and contribute to the industrial character of the new neighbourhood."

Article originally published on World Architecture Community.
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