The art academy forms the heart of an integral plan for a lively and creative urban district. The EKP postal centre site located in the railway/station zone of ’s-Hertogenbosch will be developed by SDK Vastgoed (VolkerWessels) into a vibrant and creative area for living, working and learning. Studioninedots and DELVA Landscape Architecture|Urbanism proposed a development strategy and design with a mixed programme integrating public space, mobility and nature. At the core of the transformation is the AKV|St.Joost Art Academy which will now be permanently housed in the former EKP postal centre. The scheme reconnects the EKP site with the city at multiple levels and gives it a new creative identity. The winning tender was announced on site by the municipality of ’s-Hertogenbosch, NS Station and PostNL.
Creative hub At the centre of the EKP site is the former postal sorting centre that is now temporarily occupied by the art academy. The spaciousness and industrial quality of the building creates an inspiring working and learning environment for students and teachers. The team of developer and designers recognises the pioneering role of culture on this site and aims to foster it in this development. Complementing the educational spaces will be creative workspaces and hospitality venues, giving the building a new life that saves it from demolition. Entitled KuBus (Art&Business) the complex will be transformed for permanent use. Yet it will leave room for experiments and surprise. Through these qualities and the accompany programme KuBus becomes the thriving hub of the EKP site. The creative spirit of KuBus extends beyond the building itself. Together, the public space on the site, a series of art pavilions and the ground floor spaces of the buildings, support the activities that makes the EKP site a cultural destination. In addition, the site forms a new link along the cultural route of ’s-Hertogenbosch which incorporates the Verkade factory, Tramkade and the Grasso site. In this way the young, dynamic EKP site contributes to the city’s reputation as a cultural capital of the south. “We always search for opportunities to create spaces for interaction. The cultural strength of the art academy has already enriched the surrounding programme; therefore, here at EKP I am convinced it will be a success.” Arie van der Neut, partner and architect Studioninedots Landscape and water KuBus connects to its surroundings with a dynamic environment for living and working. The buildings are set in an open structure along diagonal sight lines that lead straight from the city to KuBus; interwoven into this composition are a series of squares and visual axes. The ground floors of the buildings offer space for ateliers, creative enterprises and more. Housing is placed above. The public space on the site is designed as a landscape to wander in, full of discovery and surprises. Here, abundant green and water enhance the feel of nature. Part of this landscape is the bank of the river Dieze, which is being redesigned to create an attractive waterfront for the development. Water forms the leading theme in the design that makes EKP into a sustainable, healthy and nature inclusive neighbourhood.
Project information EKP ’s-Hertogenbosch Client and developer: SDK Vastgoed (VolkerWessels) Project: Transformation EKP site, ’s-Hertogenbosch Plot: 4,5 ha GFA: 75.000 m² Design-Completion: 2019 to 2027 Architect: Studioninedots Design team: Albert Herder, Vincent van der Klei, Arie van der Neut, Metin van Zijl Project team: Sem Holweg, Wouter Hermanns, Isabel Albert Lopez, Laura Berasaluce, Marina Bonet, Anna Ewa Bozek Landscape: DELVA Landscape Architects|Urbanism Partners: AKV|St.Joost, Skonk Consultants: Peutz, Sweco, VOLQ, Huisman & Van Muijen, WSP InfraOntwikkeling Images: Proloog