Innovation That Matters

Eindhoven’s Heuval shopping centre | Photo source MVRDV

Transforming a shopping centre into a green cultural quarter

Architecture & Design

A Dutch design firm is hoping to reinvigorate a Dutch shopping centre by turning it into a community-focused sustainable space

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Spotted: The pandemic aside, shopping centres worldwide have seen a decline in visitor numbers, as preferences switch to smaller, curated shopping experiences. In what could be a model for reviving the shopping centre, Rotterdam-based architecture firm MVRDV has proposed transforming Eindhoven’s Heuval shopping centre into a green cultural quarter.

The plan includes expanding the existing buildings to better connect with the surrounding public spaces. Covered passages will be replaced with open streets that connect with the surrounding urban areas. A “glass mountain” will be added on top of the existing Muziekgebouw concert venue, to provide a cultural landmark which visitors can climb for beautiful views of the city. 

The Muziekgebouw venue will also be redesigned to create a “living room for the city”. 

During the day, locals will be able to use the building’s open foyers to work or relax. The centre’s roofs will become accessible and include vegetation and seating, contributing to the greening of central Eindhoven.

MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas points out that, “Culture makes a city attractive … Our vision is an open and accessible shopping, residential, and cultural quarter. We achieve this by radically opening up the existing buildings, transforming the complex into seven new city blocks, and expanding upwards from the roofs.”

As online shopping grabs a larger and larger market share, bricks and mortar retail has been competing by offering what the digital world cannot – real life experiences and a connection with other people and with nature. Some exciting recent ideas for the future of shopping include creating a store with a playful, treasure hunt atmosphere and a chance for shoppers to manufacture their own bags.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Explore more: Architecture & Design Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



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