With urbanization on the rise, Utrecht needs more and more living space. At the same time, the city has a reputation to uphold as a place where healthy urban life is paramount. So the city authorities started their search for an innovative solution for the station area, where Utrecht citizens will soon be able to live, work and relax in a green, sustainable and central location. Arcadis was involved in the design phase of this challenging project and worked with the architects during the planning phase.
The solution for the attractive location on the Jaarbeurs Boulevard was found in the ambitious and unique Wonderwoods concept. This special construction is comprised of two 70 and 90-meter tall residential buildings, which together provide around three thousand homes for sale and rent. A further 27,000 square meters is reserved for other facilities, including Playlab (an interactive sensory experience for the general public), offices, healthy restaurants, gym facilities, yoga studios, small shops and educational establishments. The towers in the Healthy Urban Quarter are connected via a walkway. The highest tower is designed to look like a 'vertical forest', with balconies and facades planted with local tree species, shrubs and shrubs.
The landscape architects at Arcadis designed the roof garden, incorporating a link to the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park, where the rolling hilly landscape is continued. We also developed the building-physics design and the building installation design, and initiated the certification process for sustainability (BREEAM) and health (WELL-building). In addition, we were responsible for the water testing procedure and project management, in cooperating with MVSA Architects and Stefano Boeri Architetti.
The fact that Wonderwoods won two awards at the prestigious MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards in 2019 proves just how special the project is. The project is widely praised for its innovative use of climate-friendly elements to create a comfortable and healthy living environment. The greenery incorporated into Wonderwoods absorbs CO2, captures fine particles and produces oxygen, enhancing the living environment and emphasizing the natural charm of Utrecht. According to scientific research, nature makes us more energetic, happier, healthier, friendlier and more creative. Utrecht is a city that is growing and thriving in so many ways — to the benefit of all of its citizens. We are proud to be able to contribute to this process.