A place for escape in Nijmegen’s city centre
This project reimagines how Nijmegen’s declining Molenpoort shopping centre could be redeveloped, focusing on the issue of well-being in response to increasing lifestyle-related illnesses seen in the Netherlands and elsewhere. At the urban scale, by removing parts of the existing structure, an oasis is shaped within the urban block - creating an escape from the consumerist values that currently dominate the city centre. At the building scale, a new typology is proposed, constructed from timber and reclaimed material, which aims to facilitate improved lifestyles. The project research focuses on play and loose space within cities, building on existing literature which identifies the benefits of play as improving physical, social and emotional health. At the small scale, the project focuses on how architecture itself can influence the wellness of building users: research into architectural details that encourage play was then used to inform the design of the project.