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Urban Rehab

Innovative Strategies for Social Engagement

The population of Utrecht is one of the youngest in all Holland, and one of the most diverse, comprised of over 170 different nationalities. The city is experiencing an unprecedented period of expansion, while aiming to keep its title as one of the happiest city in the world, as revealed in a survey of the United Nations. At a recent symposium on urban social programs at the Venice Biennale, part of "Utrecht Manifest 2009” which explores the relationship between design and society, the architectural firm Urban Think Tank (UTT) presented a proposal for the working class neighborhood of Hoograven, built in the 30s of last century to the south east of the city. Together with students of the Hogeschool, Utrecht and Columbia University, UTT led the study URBAN REHAB involving inhabitants, local authorities and public housing construction companies regarding possible alternatives that would allow residents to continue living in their neighborhood. The survey results, presented at a special exhibition, highlight the need to increase the density of the volumes and add new functions to regenerate the district. Starting with the existing structures, the project involves the adaptive reuse of physical spaces, insertion of mixed-use activities and a modification of the neighborhood based on the changing needs of its inhabitants.

A style of planning light-years from past methods, in which the need for social control over the inhabitants was carried out through the creation of homogenous and anonymous quarters. Hoograven is now a testing ground for a new urban condition, one based on social inclusion policies and able to guarantee the respect and the expression of diversity.

Credits of the project:



2009  //  Hoograven - Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht Manifest // Hoograven Invites You!

Project Architect: Urban-Think Tank

Project Team:

Architect:  Urban Think Tank - Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner


Project Architects: Michael Contento, Lindsey Sherman

Project Team:  Zachary Aders, Rajiv Fernandez, Carlos Guimaraes, Emily Johnson, Lea Rufenacht, Allison Schwartz

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1 - Hoograven Site Aerial 

2 - Hoograven HS1 overall plan 1:1000

3 - Hoograven HotSpot 1

4 - Hoograven HS1 Art & Craft School

5 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah Aggregated Axo

6 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah Axo

7 - Hoograven HS1 Overall Axo

8 - Hoograven HS2 Aerial Overlay

9 - Hoograven HS2 Oude+Souk_Axo

10 - Hoograven HS3 exploded VG Axo

11 - Hoograven HS3 Overall Axo

12 - Hoograven HS1 Art School urban diagrams

13 - Hoograven HS1 Art School urban diagrams

14 - Hoograven HS1 Art School urban diagrams

15 - Hoograven HS1 Art School urban diagrams

16 - Hoograven HS1 Art School urban diagrams

17 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

18 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

19 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

20 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

21 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

22 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

23 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

24 - Hoograven HS1 Kasbah diagram 01

25 - Hoograven newspaper 2009 - 173

26 - Hoograven newspaper 2009 - 175

27 - Hoograven newspaper 2009 - 272

28 - Hoograven newspaper 2009- 281

29 - Hoograven newspaper 2009 - 298

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