Kulturquartier Bocholter Aa

Kubaai Bocholt urban transformation

Between the centre of Bocholt and the Aa lake, lies a forgotten industrial site. It has a lot of hidden qualities: the river Aa, industrial heritage and a textile museum. Bureau B+B and SeARCH made plans to transform this area into a bustling, multifunctional neighborhood.

The area transforms in three phases:

1. Access
During the first phase the accessibility of the area is improved for pedestrians and bikes. New pathways are constructed along the river Aa from the town centre to the lake. Several bridges connect the north and the south bank.

2. Activation
After the area has been opened up, people are seduced to explore the site. An attractive terrace will be laid out next to the textile museum. Vacant factories stage temporary events: a secret garden, a guerrilla café, a skate park, a flea market, a concert, a dance festival, open air movies…

3. Program
In the final phase of the transformation new functions are added. Old factories can be transformed into houses in an early stage. The pioneers that move here will accelerate the transformation process. More houses will follow, an extension of the textile museum, a music school and an event hall.

The Aa river is the life line of KuBAaI Bocholt. The river connects the area to the town centre and to the Aa lake. It provides a special identity and eases orientation. Until recently, the River was hidden behind the factories. Now, the water can be experienced thanks to paths, boardwalks and bridges. Nature-friendly banks are constructed, where water plants filter the water. The wild vegetation underlines the contrast between industry and ecology. On different locations, the Aa is widened, to prevent the quays from flooding during high water.

Industrial Heritage
Bocholt is an old textile town. For over two centuries world famous blue and red checkered kitchen towels were produced here. As a result, a small scaled industrial site developed along the Aa river, with sawtoothroofs, brick walls, chimneys and production relicts. This industrial heritage is awaiting redevelopment. Bureau B+B and SeARCH mapped the traces of the industrial past. Some factories can be transformed into houses. Other industrial elements can be integrated into new constructions. The new architecture will be demure, so the old buildings stand out. The contemporary architecture emphasizes the renewal of the area.

  • Location: Industriestraße, Bocholt, Duitsland
  • Under construction: 2014 - 2017
  • Client: Stadt Bocholt
  • Area: 35 ha
  • Partners: SeARCH

designing new wateredges

transforming backsides to frontsides

concept of green islands and walled courtyards

transforming old halls into walled courtyards with a hard perimeter

transforming halls into green islands with a soft perimeter

new interpretations of old atmospheres

traces of time structure new masterplan

reusing parts of old buildings for residential functions

new connections - connecting city, neighbourhood and region

linking neighbourhoods

Bocholt Kubaai

new bridges make new connections within the citynetwork

new cycle paths reinforce the cycling infrastructure

new connections and destinations

a park at the water

culture as instrument for place making

Bocholt Kubaai

improving accessibility, usability and ecological value of the water

various playgrounds relate to the themes of the area: music, water and textile industry