Cartesiusdriehoek in Utrecht, a former marshalling yard of the Dutch Railways, will be transformed into a new residential neighbourhood. The masterplan for 2,600 homes, a large central park, a school, a supermarket, catering and various other facilities is inspired by the ambition to create a neighbourhood where people live longer, healthier and happier lives. The area is set to become the most healthy, well-connected to public transport and bicycle-friendly neighbourhood in the Netherlands.
Project Name: Cartesiusdriehoek District
Architect Name: Mecanoo
Programme: 13.3 ha urban plan for a new residential neighbourhood with 2,600 homes, the transformation of the former CAB building into a community hub, a large central park, a school, a supermarket, catering and various other facilities
Client: Dutch Railways and the Municipality of Utrecht
Development consortium: MRP Development and Ballast Nedam Development
Team: MRP Development, Ballast Nedam Development, CBRE Global Investors’ Dutch Residential Fund, Portaal, Mecanoo architecten, Meyer Bergman Erfgoed Programmering and Hylkema, We Drive Solar, Urban Sync, Over Morgen, Antea, Rebel and C Concept Design
Design: 2017 – ongoing
Realisation: construction is expected to begin in 2020
Healthier and happier living
The inspiration has been taken from areas around the world where many residents live exceptionally long and healthy lives. Investigations about the residents’ habits that had positive health effects found common characteristics. These healthy habits have been translated into four urban design themes for the new neighbourhood in Utrecht: mobility, healthy diet, community and meaningfulness & relaxation.
CAB building as epicentre
The eye-catcher and epicentre of Cartesiusdriehoek will be the historic CAB building (1949). Its new infill will relate to the healthy urban living themes. A Food Hall with healthy catering facilities and restaurants traverses the CAB as a green street and forms a connection with the Cartesiuspark, the green heart of the neighbourhood. The diversity of functions in the transparent plinth activates the area on all sides of the building, making it an attractive meeting place for residents. On top of the CAB is a nine-storey apartment complex. With its undulating balconies it forms a striking contrast with the rectilinear substructure.
Well-connected and bicycle-friendly
Cartesiusdriehoek will become a lively urban neighbourhood with abundant greenery. All urban amenities will be easily accessible; walking and cycling will be the main modes of transport. Emphasis has been placed on sustainability, innovative energy solutions and sustainable (shared) mobility. The neighbourhood offers a variety of housing typologies for diverse target groups, with about a quarter of the units intended for rental social housing.