Public space for Shopping mall Presikhaaf

by Stijlgroep on 18/01/2017

By Gilles Horemans

Commissioned by the city council and Wereldhave, a company that has specialized them self in the design of shopping malls across the Netherlands, Stijlgroep has the opportunity to design the public spaces and parking lots of a soon to be renovated shopping mall in a district of the city Arnhem.

Presikhaaf 1960
The Presikhaaf shopping mall and public spaces that are built way back in the 60’s gets a complete make over to bring it back to its former glory. Besides being outdated, the area suffers from subsidence. Renovation offers the possibility to create an area where people are welcome and at ease.

Presikhaaf | design
In co-operation with the architect we try to make the best possible connection between building and public space to make the stay of the visitor as comfortable as possible. The roughly 900 parking lots gets a transformation, consisting mainly the preservation and improvement of the already existing trees and their stand. From the parking lots a walk way forms the connection with three squares, of which the main one is shown below.

Presikhaaf | detail public square

The warm colors of the patterned pavement gives its visitors a feeling of cosiness. A bistro is located in a pavilion surrounded by terraces. Moreover a pergola gives partialy cover for a public stage, where small events can take place. Waterspouts give dynamic and offers children playfull distraction.




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Participation process ‘s-Gravendeel

by Annelore de Cokere on 18/01/2017

January 11th, the design for the redevelopment of the center of ‘s-Gravendeel was presented to the members of the citizens participation board. The purpose of these consultative sessions was to create a design supported by the local residents.

During the first meeting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats) of the ‘s-Gravendeel center was made based on the input received from the feedback panel. Pinning down colored labels on the ground plan, members could express their ideas concerning the contemporary situation of their beloved village center. Some of the great qualities put forward are the presence of a charming creek, the beautiful church and some pretty iconic trees. Yet, the center is missing a real village heart and a lack of consistency determines the whole area. Furthermore, an excessive infrastructure and tight parking spaces create an unpleasant suburban realm.


Also, some first structure sketches were exposed to the feedback of the citizens participation board, in order to give a chance to anyone of the participation group to express any criticism. These results of this consultative meeting were taken up in the further process.


Next, at the second meeting, two sketch models were presented. On a printed plan members could indicate the elements of the design they liked and those they didn’t. By talking about different topics lively discussions arose. Out of the made comments we gathered very useful information to continue the work.


In the third session of the participation project a design was shown that contained much of the suggested ideas from the participants. In the end, thanks to the earlier participation process, this plan was well received and approved with only some minor remarks.

Citizens participation board | 's-Gravendeel

In short, one can say that these three sessions made it possible to arrive at a design that matches the needs and the wishes of the local residents. Later on, the final proposal will be presented on an evening forum to all inhabitants of ‘s-Gravendeel. A unanimous positive advice of the citizens participation board cowards the municipal council.


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by Christian Messing on 03/01/2017

Stijlgroep | vacature

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Stijlgroep | Binckhorst - Den HaagUrban Planning in the Netherlands is in constant development, in order to provide a firm and efficient legal ground for urban and rural development. In an environment that is always changing, with less clearer horizons, a new, more flexible way of urban planning is necessary.
The Dutch government wants to simplify the laws on the environment and planning and to combine them in a single Environment & Planning Act. For the time being, the Act will replace 15 existing laws, including the Water Act, the Crisis & Recovery Act and the Spatial Planning Act. The provisions of eight other laws will be transferred to the Environment & Planning Act (Omgevingswet).

In order to meet these goals, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment started up the program “Simply better” and invited specialists from different fields of urban planning and development, to join a think tank, that work on the implementation of this more consistent and efficient EU environment legislation.
Several pilots around the country are selected to monitor and test the new and simplified legislation as suggested in the process of the new Environment & Planning Act, in a process that is called OER (Environment Effect Report). Stijlgroep is asked to join the core team of one of the major pilot projects, the redevelopment and transformation of the industrial area of the Binckhorst towards a sustainable and dense mixed use area, minutes from the inner city of the government city of The Hague.

Stijlgroep | Binckhorst entrepreneurs
For decades Stijlgroep landscape and urban design made it her mission to advice on flexible horizons with flexible master planning in an ambitious sustainable and people-orientated field, thus creating an environment that adapts to both the (urban) spatial development as well as the always changing use of the people who live in it. We managed to integrate the variety of processes and sustainability systems provided by e.g. BREEAM, LEED and the Green Building Council Challenge, from a vision that sustainability has multiple aspects: social, economic, environmental, where many of the goals as already determined at the principle thought of the development, way before the building process.

Stijlgroep | Binckhorst
At full speed and with a lot of enthusiasm, we joined this high pressure cooker process of the Binckhorst. In an integral approach, together with disciplines such as lawyers, planners, environmental specialists and local stakeholders, we look forward to come up with creative and flexible solutions that are user orientated, meet the high standards of the new Environment and Planning Act. And at the same time we are confident that this approach will invite and provoke private entrepreneurs, to invest in the ambition and the renewal of the Binckhorst.


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Foundation stone for asylum centre Grave

by Hans Rovers on 05/10/2015

On the 29th of september the symbolic foundation stone was laid for the asylum centre in Velp called AZC Grave by the mayor of Velp and a board member of the institution Centraal Orgaan opvang asielzoekers (COA).

AZC Grave | eerste steenlegging

The centre is the new building of the already existing centre directly next to it, where it meets the today’s standards of living. The building of the centre is in an advanced stage with respect to the residential blocks and renovation of a monumental building, which will be used for the staff. The underground infrastructure is progresssing as well, in which Stijlgroep had a part in the design. Stijlgroep also made the design of the surrounding area, with all the necessary facilities.


AZC Grave_eerste visie

Stijlgroep translated the first proposed vision of the terrain into a more detailed plan, which will be executed in a little while.

AZC Grave_definitief ontwerp


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Adegeest Voorschoten

by Hans Rovers on 28/09/2015

In july 2015 the elderly care centre Adegeest in Voorschoten opened.

This project included  the rebuilding of the old care centre to the current requirements at the same location. For that purpose the residents of the centre had to move temporarily to another centre in the neighbourhood.

Stijlgroep was involved in the project to design the landscape and public area around the building.

We intended to create an environment for the people where they feel at home and save for, hopefully, a long time. In co-operation with the client and architect we tried to make the best possible connection between building and public space.


Another great thing for Stijlgroep was our role in the participation in the execution of the project as a supervisor for the client.

It was great to see all the aspects of creating the surroundings of the centre in collaboration with the building of the new centre.

Stijlgroep_Adegeest_Tuin achterzijde

It was a good thing to see that the intention we had with the public space worked out as we hoped for and that it now makes a perfect connection with the architecture.

Stijlgroep_Adegeest_Slingerpad achterzijde

Another part of our contribution to the realisation of the project was the design of the roof gardens, which worked out very well as you can see.


The only thing which has not yet been fullfilled is the transformation of  a part of the public outdoor space into greenery due to the seasonal circumstances. That’s a thing for the upcoming fall season.

After the completion of the project we hope and assume that the landscape will be a place where people feel at home, even more than they do now.

Stijlgroep_Adegeest_ tuin achterzijde



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A city, a coastline and a Green Walkway

by Rik Blank on 17/09/2015

We are happy to inform you on our ongoing dealings with Bahrain, for a very interesting story keeps on unfolding..  An initial design proposal is what follows;

Stijlgroep | GreenWalkway Sketch

As a result of the participation of GoDutch / Stijlgroep in the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) February 2015, and the there presented proposal for the shoreline-area adjacent to the capital city of Manama, GoDutch / Stijlgroep was challenged to do an initial design proposal for two major strategic areas on the Island.

The first of these two areas has a park-like identity and has a long stretch of coastline, it has the potential for the development of large-scale leisure functions. The project location is some 55 acres. and will potentially play an important role for leisure and cultural activities on the scale of Bahrain. The other area, on which we shall elaborate a little in this post, has the important role of intermediary between the city center and the shoreline and is to be known as the ‘Green Walkway’. This location will function as eye-catcher and will play a large role in the defining of the identity of the entrance to the city.  Hereby, we’ll give you a sense of our approach and inspiration in regards to the process leading up to this initial design proposal.

Stijlgroep | Bahrain Meeting

At this point, we with the GDC / Stijlgroep team were already doing research into the history, culture and social context of Bahrain for quite some time. This location with its complex and somewhat problematic functioning lacked spatial and conceptual clarity. We were able to expand and implement our research directly.

The location is currently a place where the city center is cut-off from the potentially beautiful shoreline. It is a location with a rich history, but it is also teeming with developments and activities. We tried to tap into this spirit and to translate this layered and dynamic context into a coherent whole, which strengthens each individual aspect and shapes this gateway to the city into an eye-catcher, a vibrant extension to the urban fabric and a place of culture, activities and social interaction.

Stijlgroep | Dhows

Local wooden ships such as the Dhow (having beautiful refined shapes with curves, angles and organic properties) came to be one of the main source of inspiration in regards to the design language. With our philosophy of ‘landscape is leading’, we set out to weave the urban scale with landscape, architecture and the small scale into a vibrant aesthetic and functional whole. Importantly, the barrier of the King Faisal Highway will be evened out, so as to reconnect the city center with the coastal zone in a seamless manner.

A meandering boulevard, shopping malls, a tourist information centre, cultural destinations, hotels, underground parking and an eye catcher – all become a part of the same cultural and (urban) landscape. A place to visit and to remember in a beautiful context. We are exited to bring you more good news shortly!

Meanwhile, another group of enthusiastic people has put itself forth for a possible partnership in developments on Bahrain.. but this is a story for the next post!


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The journey continues..

by Rik Blank on 03/09/2015

Our dealings as Stijlgroep with the Kingdom of Bahrain are taking shape ever more. Earlier this week, the Bahraini delegation of investors, building companies, pension funds and the Economic Development Board came to the Netherlands to further concretize collaborations. It was a very interesting meet-up, as a range of new projects and possibilities of developments were discussed. Stijlgroep, as a part of the GoDutch Consortium (GDC) in collaboration with the Dutch Building Association (DBA), was one of the hosts.


The delegation focused on the qualities of services and projects of both the members of the GoDutch Consortium and the Dutch Building Association. Various of the involved offices and a number of built projects were included in the visit to the Netherlands. Some of the projects visited included Cité (Tangram/GDC, van Rossum/DBA), Plan Tij (Plan Tide) (Stijlgroep/GDC) and De Rotterdam (building management DVP/DBA). Tuesday September 1st, the trip was concluded with a visit to Fachjan in  Honselersdijk and a dinner in the centre of Naaldwijk, which was designed by Stijlgroep in 1999.




During the stay at Stijlgroep, we presented to the delegation two design proposals set on prime strategic locations in Bahrain, these locations were earlier assigned to us as to give our vision on the complex spatial context. These design proposals were presented and discussed and were received with great enthusiasm. Next steps will be made shortly, but for now, our place on the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) of 2016 is set, which is again a great opportunity and a new step in the ongoing and exiting journey.


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A new journey

by Paul van Wijk on 31/08/2015

Stijlgroep has engaged in an exiting new adventure set on an island in the Persian Gulf; our recent journey took us to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Last February, 2015, Stijlgroep along with the GoDutch Consortium took part on invitation in the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS). As of now, some highly concrete developments are taking shape, but first we’ll explain to you some of its background story.

Stijlgroep BIGS Certificate

The participation of Stijlgroep at the BIGS was one of the highpoints in a continuing journey and exploration into a beautiful country and culture. When visiting Bahrain, we were guided over the island, came to meet interesting people and explored potential opportunities. At the garden show however, we actually came in contact with Her Royal Highness. The BIGS is a leading show in amongst others the fields of agriculture, ecology and landscape architecture. King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has patronage over the show, and it is opened and supported by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, whom is also the President of the Consultative Council of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD). The garden show is a big event altogether.

Stijlgroep | opening BIGS

Stijlgroep | GoDutch at BIGS

Stijlgroep was invited for the occasion to make a specific proposal for one of the prime locations in Bahrain, to be presented to Her Royal Highness. The design proposal concerned the seashore-front of the capital city of Manama, along the King Faisal Highway. In an ongoing process in the studying of the local culture, history, aesthetics, society and social and spatial needs, a plan was formed. This proposal has been presented to Her Royal Highness and to the Bahraini people and was received with much enthusiasm. Here follows a cutout abstract impression which was a part of the later proposal;

Stijlgroep | Proposal

In our dealings with, and research into Bahrain, it became all the more clear that it is truly a special place, this is also what we experienced during our stay on the island of Bahrain; a profound sense of hospitality, a rich culture and an open society. Furthermore, many unexpected encounters proved that there is a strong awareness regarding the need for high quality in landscape architecture, planning and architecture.

There were many positive encounters with people who had some form of engagement with landscape architecture and planning. Honorary consul Jaap Vaandrager played an important role in this process. As of now, we are engaged in various cases in which a next step will be made towards development.

This was a taste of the background story, leading towards the following exiting message; we are delighted to be able to hereby announce that Stijlgroep, as a part of the GoDutch Consortium in collaboration with the Dutch Building Association (DBA), will be receiving the visit in the Netherlands of the Bahraini Delegation of investors, building companies, pension funds and the Economic Development Board. Early September, new projects and collaborations will be discussed. The journey continues…


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The Quiet View

by Stijlgroep on 08/07/2015

On a sunny day I visited the site of Herkenrode Abbey in Hasselt, which has a fascinating history in a beautiful setting.

After 15 years of restoration and redevelopment the old farm buildings and 100-hectare nature in the surrounding are redeveloped into an area where there is a lot to see and do.
Because the site is still under reconstruction, you discover something new every time. The herbal and inspiration garden is already open and you can visit the experience center.
Since March 29, 2015 you can visit the work of Hans op de Beeck in the pavilion, which was realized together with Mimesis architects.

The Quiet ViewIn this clean sober housing you find a world different from its surroundings.
When you walk trough the dark corridor and you enter an illusion of space.

The Quiet ViewA bright space where you get detached from the environment and outside influences. The perception (peacful, depressed, restful) is for anyone personally affected by their own peace of mind.

Is it something unique or not? Can you see some resemblance with the surroundings of the Herkenrode Abbey?

Herkenrode Abbey


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