The Healthy Urban Quarter at the Jaarbeursboulevard near Utrecht central railway station will be developed by the consortium of G&S Vastgoed and KondorWessels Projecten. This development consortium won the municipal tender with its Wonderwoods plan aimed at supporting the municipality’s ambitions to improve healthy urban living. Its ‘Happiness 2.0’ concept is focused on bringing nature into the city to promote healthier living. Architectural firms Stefano Boeri Architetti and MVSA Architects signed off on the plan on behalf of the consortium. The plan includes a public space called Playlab that will provide a technological (virtual reality and 3D) and visual art experience for young and old. The details of the plan are currently being worked out.
The Wonderwoods plans consists of two towers (90 and 70 meters high) that will provide space for residential, business, relaxation and entertainment purposes. The highest tower will be located at the Croeselaan and will look like a vertical forest with plants growing on the balconies and the building itself. Stefano Boeri Architetti and Arcadis are working out the details of this plan in consultation with Utrecht Botanic Gardens (part of Utrecht University). The tower near the Kinepolis cinema will feature aesthetically-pleasing curves and a great deal of green on the inside. This will be visible from the outside because the main halls will be able to be opened up. The look of Wonderwoods will be attractive and accessible from all angles and the building will blend in well with its surroundings. The building will exude the robustness of the large offices in the area while being adapted in detail to look beautiful at street level. The design is a perfect transition from the railway station area to the future Beurskwartier area.
Wonderwoods will provide rental and non-rental homes to various target groups, including people employed in the public sector, as well as upscale studios. The building will also have space for offices, healthy eateries and café establishments, fitness/yoga, small shops, learning, indoor bicycle parking, a small parking garage and Playlab, a new technological (virtual reality and 3D) and visual art experience for young and old in Utrecht.
The municipality of Utrecht announced its Healthy Urban Quarter ambition at the Expo Real in Munich in October 2016. From a total of 20 consortiums that submitted their vision, the municipality selected four whose visions were then developed into plans. These plans were submitted in May and the municipality selected the best plan after a thorough assessment. The winning consortium of G&S Vastgoed and KondorWessels Projecten will sign a reservation agreement soon, guaranteeing its exclusive rights and ability to work out the plan to create a final design. Taking into account the preparations and planning procedures, construction will commence in 2019 and Wonderwoods is expected to be ready for use in 2022.