Urban Playground

Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Project details

The Eindhoven Urban Playground is an urban development- and programming strategy for Eindhovens’ railway station plaza. It offers a clear basis as Playground, with the ‘Eindhoven Collection’ as set of unique, light structures for the activation of Stationsplein Eindhoven.

Currently the plaza in front of Eindhoven’s central railway station is dominated by obstacles. The access from the station to the city centre is unclear, routes are obstructed by bikes, street lights, trees, kiosks, the Tourist office, parking, taxis, a small park, the roundabout, … The road and tunnel around create a barrier, cutting off the plaza from its surroundings. It lacks clarity and does not have the grandeur that the Central station and this place in the city deserves to represent itself.

The proposal is to convert the station plaza into a properly functioning urban plaza and to answer to the potential of this location, by developing this as the place where Eindhoven shows its identity with the ‘Eindhoven Collection’.

A series of ‘no regret’ measures are taken: clear sightlines and walking routes are created between the station hall and the city’s anchor points. The public space is cleaned and refitted to give grandeur, creating an open, spacious area with a series of strong and clear buildings. The connection to the city centre is strengthened by diminishing the barrier of the road and tunnel, by removing all obstacles and re-organising the area as a shared space, creating one larger continuous public zone.

Secondly, a series of objects is created, that show the identity, innovation-power and energy of the city: Eindhoven as city of light, technique, design, innovation, sustainability, food, ... A physical ‘showroom’ where the city’s innovators and creators, as Philips, Design Academy, Designhuis and many other, present themselves and collaborate. An invitation to participate and collectively develop the Eindhoven Collection.

A collection of playful, interactive Urban Activators that contribute to the vividness of the area and city. By realising these objects as multi-use elements, partially with a temporal character, an interactive and flexible plaza is created that can be curated to keep on renewing itself: only what evolves stays vivid and contemporary. It turns the plaza into an ‘Urban Playground’, where the city presents itself.

The collection adds specific objects that react to the city’s agenda, desires and behaviour with a contemporary interpretation of a plaza’s classical elements. By developing each programmatic element as a unique, recognisable and characteristic object, a unique Eindhoven Collection is created step-by-step. It turns the plaza into a place that symbolises what Eindhoven stands for. This is Eindhoven!

Role Design Collaboration IWT Client NS Vastgoed / EHV365 Program Mixed program Size 1,5 hectares with 5,000 m² of program Year 2018 Status Completed