felixx-schiedam

Europan plan becomes reality: Schie Quarter Development Strategy has been approved

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The city council of Schiedam has approved the development strategy for the Schie Quarter. The vision has been made by Team Schiedam, a collaboration between the offices Basic City, Felixx and Studio Komma. In the coming years the area around the central Koemarkt square and the Schie canal  will transform into a meeting place with living, working and leisure. The strategy is an elaboration of the winning entries from the Europan 12 competition in 2013.

Schiedam has a particular urban configuration with the historical center and the port industry right next to each other. The Schie Quarter, situated at the border of both areas, will connect spatially and functionally to form a new urban entity. The objective of the development strategy is to transform  the area into a vivid district around the Schie canal; A new vital and authentic downtown entrance.

The central Koemarkt square will be simplified and connected to the water. The renewed square will become an integral link between the industrial area and the historic center. The adjacent and currently vacant VROM location offers space to a new program in the future that fits both the historic city and the industrial area.

The development strategy proposes an incremental transformation. It is a flexible strategy that steers the spatial, social and economic development potential of the project area. The entire planning area is thereby divided into a number of subprojects. This subdivision makes it possible to develop the entire planning area in several steps with their own pace and priority. This allows the project to respond to the dynamics of contemporary urban development.

To achieve a feasible plan that is being carried by multiple stakeholders, the strategy has been made within an open planning process. It has been a comprehensive cooperation between the municipality, consultants and public, which was conducted in an open dialogue. In the future this cooperation will play a continuous role with the development of the subprojects.

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Construction started

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The construction of Rijnvliet in Utrecht has started with implementing a bicycle path that connects the surrounding neighbourhoods with the cluster of sports fields in the south of our project area.
The public space design for this new residential area will be a collaboration of Felixx, Æ Food Forestry Development and De Zwarte Hond. The design of this fully sustainable living environment will be based on the principles of food forestry.

felixx-myanmar

City extension of Yangon by UN-habitat presented in Quito

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UN-Habitat is working on an exemplary city extension for Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar. The international team of planners consists of four Netherlands based firms: Urban Codes, Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners, Posad Spatial Strategies and MakeTank. The plans have a strong focus on resilient urban water systems and a strengthened transport network, promoting social, economic and environmental sustainability as the city grows. The project is part of UN-Habitat’s Global Network of Urban Planning and Design Labs, and financed by the Creative Industries Fund NL. The team is supported by the Arcadis Shelter program.

Results will be presented at the upcoming Habitat III conference in Quito, from 16-20 October 2016. The world premiere of the Urban Labs documentary, featuring the work of the labs in Myanmar, Ghana, Philippines, Gaza and Mexico will be screened in the ONE Pavilion on Sunday October 16th. Intermediate results of the labs were presented earlier this year at the Venice Biennale, as part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition ‘Reporting From the Front’.

Myanmar stands at a defining point in its recent history. Since 2011, the country has seen a general trend towards social and economic liberalization and a more market-oriented economy, which leads to increasing urbanization. Ambitiously, the country is anticipating this growth by preparing plans for over 80 cities. The new planning law that any moment can come into effect, encourages cities to make plans, and offers a unique opportunity to define the future of many of Myanmar’s Cities.

Yangon is the former capital of Myanmar, facing a projected growth from over 5 million inhabitants in the current situation to 11 million people by 2040. The Htantabin area is one of seven sites that are appointed to accommodate this projected population growth. The Planned City Extension by the UN-Habitat Urban Lab Team aims to turn this 100km2 area into a resilient and affordable urban environment, housing up to 750.000 people in 2040. The proposed setup of the new district is based on the creation of a resilient urban water system, and builds on the connections with the existing city. New centralities are proposed and different means of transport are integrated in the planning framework. Strategies are elaborated to allow for a phased development, realizing an urban environment with an adequate density, sufficient facilities and affordable housing units.

The project for Htantabin is being developed together with local planners from Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) and the Ministry of Construction (MOC). The plan was presented
this summer to the new Minister of Construction, U Win Khaing, and was positively received. With this positive reception of the plan, the collaboration and capacity building continues into a next stage, for the further elaboration of the plan.

Felixx MLA+ Bo'an Shenzhen

MLA+ Felixx consortium wins the Bao’an Urban Design Competition in Shenzhen China

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MLA+ in collaboration with Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners and Chinese partners China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) and Shenzhen Municipal Design & Research Institute has won the first prize in the design competition for the regeneration of the area along the G107 highway in Bao’an district in Shenzhen. The other competing teams consisted of Nikken Sekkei, KCAP, OMA and ISA- Internationales Stadtbauatelier.

The 1-2 kilometre piece of land on both aspects of the G107 forms the 53 km2 area of the competition. The G107 highway used to be the main entrance road from Hong Kong to ‘Factory of the World’ city Shenzhen. Consequently, a fragmented industrial landscape emerged along the high way. In the past few years this landscape was further complicated by pieces of residential areas and independent developed commercial functions. Besides direct problems like regular flooding and traffic problem, the area is vulnerable in view of Shenzhen’s transition from an industry based economy to an economy based on innovation.

Therefore, the main challenge was to come up with a future-proof design that carefully integrates and addresses the complexity of the existing urban fabric.

In the design of MLA+ the highway G107 is still the driving force of the area to connect the different areas, but its function changes from an utilitarian infrastructure to a key driver for urban regeneration. Within this main structure hubs are created for different urban functions. Besides that, the public spaces are used to connect different elements of the existing city.

Markus Appenzeller – partner MLA+:
“An important element of our plan is that we try to connect the bigger regional scale with the local design scale. This ‘in-between-scale’ is in our view the most important driver for quality, but still unseen as such in China. Therefore, as European experts we can make an important contribution in this area in Chinese cities.”

Michiel Van Driessche – partner Felixx:
“This assignment is an extremely interesting cocktail, of all fundamental challenges for future-proof urbanization within an incredible divers existing urban fabric. Important environmental, social and infrastructural tasks in an almost entirely built-up area and very limited open space. With this project we aim to develop a strategic framework that revalues open space as a necessary mechanism to address these tasks, and transform the current fabric into a resilient urban environment.”

In the time to come, the consortium of MLA+ will refine the plan resulting in an implementation plan that will be implemented in the coming three years.

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Felixx licht verdicht BNA

Licht Verdicht BNA

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Last Friday we had a site visit for our new project LichtVerdicht in Rotterdam. For this research project, initiated by BNA, Diederendirrix architects asked to team up together, along with Michel Schamp – Aronsohn construction engineers, Peter van der Helm – PHurbanism and Wijnand Galema – architectural historicist. The aim of this study is to show how to densify Rotterdam, and other post war cities, on a small scale within the existing built fabric, while adding new public space layer on a higher level.

Read more about this BNA research project

Felixx Fier Elbasan

Fier and Elbasan

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Great days in Albania! We are working on the territorial plans of Fier and Elbasan, two cities near Tirana. Fier is located close to the coast, Elbasan is situated in the mountains. Recently existing municipalities are merged into bigger entities. This is instrumental to address the current environmental challenges at the appropriate scale. Moreover it enables mid-size cities (such as Fier and Elbasan) to take a role in the ongoing urbanization of Albania, releasing pressure from the capital. The territorial plans outline strategies to realize these ambitions. We join the team of Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development and USAID/Albania to develop a set of strategic projects, connecting different strategies to comprehensive interventions.

Felixx Venice biennale

At the Venice Biennale

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As part of the UN-Habitat Urban Labs, we attended the opening of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Snapshot of an inspiring discussions and lectures with UN Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos, Rogier van den Berg, local counterparts and the other Urban Lab Teams. Building a global community of practice.

 

Article by UN-Habitat
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