UTRECHT SCIENCE PARK CAMPUS VISION
The Utrecht Science Park (USP) is currently undergoing a large-scale transformation. By emphasizing housing, education and work the campus will become more and more versatile. New, flexible buildings are being realized and at the same time special attention is paid to the sustainable transformation of existing real estate. At the beginning of 2020, Utrecht University commissioned Barcode Architects to direct this transformation process and to develop a new urban development vision for the central area. The assignment is a vision for a sustainable campus that connects and invites people to meet each other.
Utrecht, the Netherlands
2020 - ongoing
Caro van de Venne, Ellen Rouwendal, Christine Lie, Cris Skenderi, Beatrice Piola, Ruggero Pedrini
Historically, the USP has been structured into isolated clusters without a powerful urban core. Due to the clustered setup, the area is fragmented and lacks coherence between the east and west. The central area does not fulfill a central pivotal function – whereas in today’s ambitions of the Utrecht Science Park, an urban core with numerous vital functions is essential.
To transform this central area into a dynamic zone, Barcode Architects is introducing a strong, urban and spatial element: the central boulevard. Adjacent to this boulevard, characteristic outdoor spaces with a varied palette of qualities have been defined – ranging from more urban to more green, but ever directly adjoining the buildings and with a human scale and size. In this way, the public space is given the unifying role of a meeting place, with a logical routing, pleasant places to stay and an optimal connection with the environment. All buildings have recognizable entrances and open, transparent plinths with a diverse public programme.
By expanding the central boulevard both in western and eastern direction, the various USP institutes are linked together, with the USP square as the vibrant heart of the campus. With this central boulevard, Barcode Architects also enhances the direct connection of the Utrecht Science Park to the landscape environment. From the boulevard, there are open lines of sight to the surrounding green landscape in both directions and the greenery extends within the campus. The permeability of the USP continues in the environment, encouraging healthy behavior and activity.
Barcode Architects translates the complementary character of the USP into an appealing vision for the future. The qualitative green space is exhibited and interwoven with a versatile programmatic densification. It provides a solid framework to develop the USP into a versatile and sustainable campus.