Barbara de Groot

Heritage & Architecture: Hembrug

The ‘Urban Ecology Event Center’ explores the possibilities of integrating ecological design into the existing building structure by creating an interior garden within a flexible multifunctional space.

Urban Ecology Lab Hembrug: Re-designing an industrial heritage landscape.

Progressing urbanisation has created a disconnect between ‘the city’ and ‘nature’. The Hembrug terrain, an abandoned military production site and one of the last remaining green havens in Amsterdam, is threatened by new developments which will push the greenery even further from the city centre of Amsterdam.  This puts the historical character and the ecological quality of Hembrug under pressure.

This project explores the co-existence of ecology and the built environment within the scientific framework of urban ecology. It ventures beyond the traditional approach by introducing the city as an ecosystem of its own.

The proposed landscape and architectural design integrate natural processes into the existing built fabric, with an experimental attitude towards the heritage buildings and will house an event centre, research facilities and offices. The proposal aims to let the public physically experience the benefits of a biodiverse environment and promotes active measures to allow nature back into our cities. 

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