With its characteristic industrial buildings, the former site of the Regional Energy Supply Company in Hilversum has always had its own identity. Mecanoo created a masterplan for the redevelopment of the site into Villa Industria: a neighbourhood with 357 homes – partly affordable housing, partly owner-occupied, small-scale businesses and sporting facilities.
The urban plan prioritises public space for pedestrians and cyclists. Recessed parking throughout the site frees up space for a green environment with water features and a centrally located park. The courtyards consist of private gardens with an intimate character. An eye-catching ensemble of three cylindrical residential buildings refers to the old gasometers which once stood on the site.
The existing swimming pool has been recladded in brick, steel and glass, so it fits the aesthetics of the new building. Robust steel columns support a new sports hall and fitness centre which has been built on top of the swimming pool. Modern homes with semi-circular roofs are situated on the site of a former warehouse with a similar shape.
The architecture of Villa Industria has a sculptural design language, industrial detailing, and harmonious combinations of cool materials, such as steel and glass, and warm materials like red to red-brown bricks with subtle relief. Inspired by the industrial heritage of the site, the area has a recognisable identity once again.