Contest entry Marktplein Apeldoorn

Marktplein Apeldoorn Visualisatie

Apeldoorn is a booming city that has a unique position in the landscape. The city is the combination of the wild natural landscape of the adjacent Veluwe natural park and the stately manors, lanes, and parks. In addition to the natural treasures the city has to offer, there is a strong cultural history. In order to accommodate the various activities a city needs a square that is flexible enough to hosts multiple events simultaneously and, depending on the season, during various moments of the day.

The Marktplein square is currently a harsh and abrupt transition from city to square, especially when there is no market. It lacks the atmosphere and conviviality of, for example, the adjacent Raadhuisplein and the Hoofdstraat. Our goal is to bring the character that is typical for Apeldoorn to the square and to interweave the city and open space into a square that can be embraced at any moment of the day.

We propose a rising landscape that takes over parts of the square in order to push aside city for greater open space. The natural landscape will grow out of the square creating two overlapping areas; the urban, cozy edge and the open, bright center of the square. With a series of richly planted ‘islands’ that surround the square, we mark this transition and celebrate the edges. The islands add a variety of seating options. By integrating the entrances of the parking garage and bicycle parking into the islands, they become one with the square. The entrances and the proposed café will have a soft, wooden facade. These offer areas where people can meet up, drink coffee, or eat an ice cream.

The Town Hall currently feels detached from the square. A new entrance will be added and integrated into the square as a whole. The edges are pulled forward to create comfortable seating in the sun. The spacious and visible entrance will be inviting, it will be somewhere a wedding couple can proudly take pictures.
Finally, the ‘Stadspodium’ (City Stage) acts as the official invitation to visitors. The Stadspodium is inspired by the shape of tree groupings. They provide support, scale and liveliness to the open space. The perforations in the roof create unique shadow plays throughout the day, mimicking the effect of sun shining through foliage. The awning can be used in various ways; as a swing, climbing and playing object, meeting place, public cinema … It is an object that, together with the square, will become a place that Apeldoorners can make their own. Because of the Stadspodium, the square still feels alive, the place will feel like the ‘decorations are still up ´– even if there is no market.

The story of the landscape that is so typical of the city of Apeldoorn and its surroundings will thus play a major role in the design for the new Market Square. This makes it a recognizable, iconic and future-proof square that belongs in the city. One which contributes to the liveliness and attractiveness of the city in every season and at any moment of the day.

  • Location: Marktplein, Apeldoorn, Netherlands

The square with its sustainable qualities integrates well into the city of Apeldoorn

The design of the square fits better to the human scale but is still flexible for all imaginable uses

Marktplein Apeldoorn Eilanden

Green islands bring the atmosphere of the Veluwe to the square

Marktplein Apeldoorn Pleinobject

The city stage is a great place for a variety of events.

Marktplein Apeldoorn Entrees parkeergarage

The integration of the entrances of the parking garage and the square itself is noticably improved