RE: Beijum

Beijum in the city of Groningen is a typical ‘Bloemkoolwijk’. The dwellings are in a good condition, but the neighbourhood itself has quite a bad reputation. The public space is sparsely used and ill-maintained, all streets look alike and a clear centre is absent. Our strategy introduces structure: based on a careful mapping of the area on a morphological, social and economic level, we densify the area best serviced by mobility, we thin the edges and we introduce hierarchy in the street pattern. All this, by using surgical top-down interferences combined with the production of productive spatial climate for initiatives by local residents

We place a new rules- and guidance’s grid over the whole area: In one spot you can add two levels to your house and start your own store, somewhere else you have total freedom, and in another one new buildings plots are sold. The rules and guidance’s are designed to have a positive effect on the house value, on the quality of public space and on the social coherence of the neighbourhood. In this manner, the sum of private actions means a collective plus.


Location: Groningen (NL)
Program: Competition (second prize), transformation of neighbourhood
Client: Platform GRAS
Year: 2011