Architects:PPHP (Sjoerd Soeters) - Forum Concept & Design
Back in the mid-1990s, the shopping area of the pleasant Brabant village of Rosmalen (now the municipality of Den Bosch) was in need of a major impulse. The area had become cluttered with scattered clusters of shops. New construction over the preceding decades had left the Dorpsstraat feeling distinctly unwelcoming.
“Our village… I remember how it was…”
DEVELOPMENT OF CENTRAL AREA
The initial plans in 1999 clearly show how people thought what the expansion and enhancement of a shopping area should look like: an indoor shopping area with lots of fashion shops and a large car park.
As time went on, it appeared that people were embracing another type of design. The plan by Soeters van Eldonk (now: PPHP) used the (architectural) design language that was
typical of Rosmalen itself. Blocks of buildings were designed like classic Brabant farmhouses and even the larger building sections suggested that they had been realised organically over time.
14500 build (01), paid
SOETERS VAN ELDONK
300 built (-1), paid
200 ground level, free
Plans through the years show the new vision of shopping in the Netherlands
An economic crisis and the drastic changes in our shopping behaviour made it necessary to adapt the plan again in 2015. This final plan took on much more of a ‘convenience’ character, making supermarkets, drugstores and speciality shops the main users. Add the relocated HEMA, some nice bars and restaurants and a single fashion shop and you have a modern shopping area.
A modern shopping area is about much more than just shopping. After all, you also go there for the atmosphere and the welcoming feeling, on the streets and in the local bars and restaurants. But also for medical services and to enjoy your favourite sports.
Care functions, sports, living, catering, meeting, convenience and fashion
Two much-loved but outdated properties on Dorpsstraat have now been renovated, extended and included as an integral part of the new central area in an almost traditional way.
Classic house transformed into a brasserie and estate agent
The development has been a key driver in making the overall
shopping area more compact. An ideal walking route (a so-called ‘shopping-8’) has been created between the new and existing shopping areas. This has made the area more attractive to consumers. Less purchasing power from Rosmalen goes to surrounding towns and even the residents of new housing estates in Den Bosch now prefer to shop in Rosmalen. The free parking has certainly helped in this regard.
Thanks to the strong shopping-8, it is now clear where the edges of the central area are (once again) changing into residential areas. All the various functions now fall logically and neatly into place.
The years of effort by the municipality of Den Bosch, shopkeepers, residents, architects and Foruminvest have not gone unnoticed. In 2020, this development was awarded the prestigious NRW Annual Award by the Dutch Council of Shopping Centres.
The NRW jury called the Centrumplan Rosmalen: “…a paragon of creativity, adaptability and cooperation and shows just how the necessary transition in our sector can be brought about.”
“…a paragon of creativity,
adaptability and cooperation…”