New centrepiece for Eindhoven
What used to be a single-purpose neighbourhood is being transformed into a versatile motor of urban progress: Eindhoven is turning its railway station district in Fellenoord into a buzzing new area where all kinds of innovations are set to flourish.
The railway station has always been an important part of Eindhoven. It is crucial for the innovative ecosystem known as Brainport Eindhoven, where everything is focused on the development and production of new technologies. In future, the previously monofunctional station area will have far more to offer: Eindhoven’s city council recently gave the go-ahead for the Fellenoord/Internationale Knoop XL development vision. This is part of the major project Internationale Knoop XL, which will fundamentally redesign the entire district around the main station.
Designed by Dutch office KCAP, the masterplan for Fellenoord/Internationale Knoop XL converts the northern part of the Eindhoven railway station quarter into a versatile, mixed-use quarter. KCAP will supervise the transformation.
An upgrade for Eindhoven
The concept behind KCAP’s urban building aims to implant a new, pulsating heart into Brainport Eindhoven, as it were. One that reinforces the significance of the region on a national and international level. Consequently, the Dutch government and the province of North Brabant are closely integrated in its development.
Eindhoven’s station area plays a crucial role in its growth. Over the coming years the roughly 55-hectare area will become fit for the future. With a multimodal traffic hub, complete with new bus station. And attractive surroundings for up to 7,500 new apartments and companies from the technology, design and knowledge sectors.
A better place to live and work
The buildings in the area designed by KCAP are intended to work together to form an open, harmonious zone with high-rise construction and green zones. Retail outlets and public programs will create a lively atmosphere at the base of the buildings. Many different forms of living will be created adjacent to attractive streets, squares and open spaces. The new quarter will also offer plenty of green space that offers the general public a pleasant area for outdoor pursuits, recreation and communication.
“This major station development will bridge barriers and reconnect all parts of the city to its heart. It will be the motor of 21st century Eindhoven,” says urban planner and director of KCAP Frank Werner. The vision of the architectural firm is a permeable city district with station precinct. This aims to welcome both residents and visitors with a multimodal hub and high quality of life.
This major station development will be the motor of 21st century Eindhoven.
Frank Werner, director of architectural firm KCAP
The width of the main traffic artery will be reduced from seventy to forty metres. As a result, the highway running through the district will become a city boulevard that can be easily crossed. The bus station on the northern side of the station will make the new quarter easily accessible. It will also make a significant contribution towards reducing car traffic. Sunken down and at ground level, it creates space for a second station plaza. Besides this, an additional entrance to the east of the station will connect with the River Dommel and the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Recreational area on the river
The landscape beside the Dommel is unique in the area. Its green banks will serve as an urban recreational area. Extra, lush vegetation plus new green and blue structures will be used by the planners at KCAP to underline the local identity.
Sustainability is another important aspect of the Fellenoord development vision. Climate, energy and the circular economy are the priorities. Everything focuses on making Eindhoven’s new urban quarter climate-proof, environmentally friendly and energy-neutral. It will be powered only by sustainable sources, with new circular concepts for construction materials used during building.
Attractive route network
The city of Eindhoven and the KCAP team want to redesign Fellenoord as a dense, urban mixed-use area with a new network of top-quality public spaces. Attractive routes for cyclists and pedestrians have also been integrated into the design. Residents and employees in the area can look forward to green paths on their doorstep. And also a carefully designed network of cycle paths that makes it easier to ditch the car.
The development strategy is adaptive and seeks alliances between public and private organizations to create synergies and return profit to the region. Therefore, the decision taken by the city council is now an important step towards transformation of the Fellenoord area.
Widespread innovation in Eindhoven
However, this excellent mega-project by the internationally renowned office KCAP is not the only development that is attracting the world’s attention to Eindhoven.
The new spectacular, sustainable construction called Dutch Mountains, with its two high towers, is another part of the Eindhoven Internationale Knoop XL urban development project. This complex designed by studio Marco Vermeulen is being built at the intersection of the city centre and campus, between the railway station and technical university. Like KCAP’s attractive Fellenoord quarter, the complex aims to become an urban meeting place that brings people together, which goes perfectly with the name of its ambitious plans for the future: “Knoop” roughly means “hub”.
Eindhoven’s city centre is also the setting for an innovative residential area designed by MVRDV, called Nieuw Bergen. Unlike the new Dutch Mountains by the railway station, MVRDV’s project won’t be any taller than a small hill. Nevertheless, its lush greenery, accessibility and fascinating “skewed” shape is attracting a lot of interest. In a nutshell: Eindhoven in the Netherlands is living up to its name as a hotspot for innovative technology and design.
Text: Elisabeth Schneyder
Translation: Rosemary Bridger-Lippe