Hoog Catharijne, marked an important milestone in the large-scale redevelopment, multi-phase process that began more than a decade ago with the official opening of 16,000 square meters (170,000 SF) of new retail space that is an initial phase in the expansion and redevelopment of the existing 350,000 square meter (3.7 million SF) project. On April 5, 2017, STIR Architecture was there to celebrate the event and the effort.
STIR Architecture has been working with Klepierre, one of Europe’s leading retail developers, on the design and master plan for this inner city transformation since 2003. When the redevelopment is completed in 2019, the project will include 35,000 square meters (380,000 SF) of new retail, restaurants, and cafes and 60,000 square meters (650,000 SF) of renovated retail space to this inner city development. In addition to the new retail expansion and renovation, STIR Architecture’s design also adds a new residential component on the historic Vredenburg Square and a 250-room hotel along the Catharijnesingel – the historic canal that runs through the project.
William J. Sebring, AIA, partner at STIR Architecture and managing director of the STIR Amsterdam office said, “With landmark events like the opening of this first phase of Hoog Catharijne we are reminded why we do what we do. From the first design discussions with Klepierre and the City of Utrecht, we strongly believed that key to success would be a design solution that is adaptable to change. We focused on what makes cities great – design principles long embedded in the urban fabric of Utrecht—connections, landmarks, diversity, scale, permeability, city rooms, discovery.”
The modern, yet authentic architecture is distinctly urban, respecting the scale and restraint of Utrecht’s historic core. STIR’s design adds new layers to the many districts that make up the original development, creating new urban gateways and transitions to the surrounding urban fabric of the city, including the revived city canal that meanders through the shopping center. With the recent opening, the customer can easily promenade from the Central Station to Utrecht’s historic city center.
“This new phase of one of the largest urban redevelopments in Europe brings a new scale and excitement to one of Europe’s most dynamic young cities. It is fantastic to finally see people walk through the spaces we have envisioned over the last decade,” said Joost Hulshof, Associate AIA, Associate Partner at STIR Architecture.
Chairman of the Klepierre Executive Board Jean-Marc Jestin said, “We look forward to offering more new shops and restaurants in the coming months and are proud to be a part in the urban renewal plan together with the City of Utrecht.”
“Hoog Catharijne is about building memories and there are more to come as construction continues to realize new discoveries within Hoog Catharijne,” said Sebring.