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Kengo Kuma & Associates

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dmadsenweaetxdyvaydzcwq, hanley wood, llc

Project Name


Project Status

Concept Proposal


8,400 sq. meters


City of Arnhem

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Project Description


The building is placed in a strategic location within the ongoing Rijnboog Masterplan, an important city scale vision that will be able to transform this part of Arnhem into a lively area welcoming visitors and becoming an integral part of the inner city, and most importantly reconnecting strongly the inner city center of Arnhem to the river, which is a hugely important but unexploited resource for Arnhem.
The Art Cluster building, for its central location and for its cultural program, will play a key role in the regeneration of the area. Acting as the catalyst for the entire area economic and cultural regeneration it will be stimulus for new projects, companies, institutions and initiatives across the entire city; it will become a hub for everyone - the place to meet, greet and be proud of.
Inevitably, Arta is likely to become one of the city's landmark building and a meeting place for all.
This will naturally create a strong connection between Arta, other cultural facilities in the area such as Rozet ad also the historical Landmarks like the St Eusebius' Church. All these landmarks will be immediately recognizable and announce the new urban and cultural development to the city, and they will create also a visual connection between them (When visitors go to the top on one of the buildings, there would be a dialogue with the others).
A new urbanscape can be explored by linking these landmarks, where area currently suffers from lack of identity

One of the most important urban goals of the new building will be the ability to re-connect the city center to the Rijn; to do so we “raise the public street” in stepped terraces to a higher level toward the riverside engaging the visitors in having nice view of the Rijn while experiencing the building. At the same time, we bring the water toward the city with a gentle cascade of water mirrors. This will create a tridimensional garden acting as a lively public space
We feel that in order to achieve a successful project this building has to be organically integrated within its context both on the city side (and its urban scale) and on the riverside, by connecting them in two direction: from the city to the river and from the river to the city.
It is necessary to create a building that has an “urban face” able to stand in the scale of the city context and to be recognizable with its own clear identity as the important civic center it will be.
Vice versa, the building should have a more delicate approach to the riverside and therefore we have created a series of tridimensional “landscape terraces” that, gently and organically, bring the architecture into a more human scale on the riverfront.
With the introduction of green terraces and waterscape along Newstraat, which can be perceived as a “community garden” within the urban context, the architecture takes here a “landscape form” relating itself, thus, to the river and to the landscapes surrounding the area and the city (the greenbelt, but also the Veluwe National Park and floodplain landscape of Stadsblokken and Meinerswijk at a territorial scale).
This will suggest a more green approach to the city’s future urban developments of Rijnboog.

In this context, the building multileveled Arts Square becomes the real core of the project, and it will, at the same time:
• Connect the city to the river by enhancing the view of the Rijn
• Connect inside to outside with large opening in each terrace
• Connect the street to the terraces creating a “raised public street” along the building
• Connect Museum Arnhem to Film House in a solution of continuity by using different levels open into each other and encouraging functional mix.

The Cultural Building of the XXI century (like MA and FAA are) cannot be anymore just made by empty boxes to be filled with art or events; nor a white box can be considered anymore a flexible space.
The cultural building of the future will have to engage with the city and the context as much as with visitors, artists and artworks harmoniously, and avoid being a container for culture but becoming a generator of culture.
Arta should be a real civic center where all users and visitors should be able to relax and enjoy the time spent in it, and feel this space as naturally part of the city.
In this building especially important will be the Arts Square, which we imagine as being “the living room of the city”:
• Showing inside activities to the people passing by
• Blur the boundaries between inside/outside
• Invite people to spend enjoyable time in it
• Engage with the neighborhood, the city and the river
• Allow multiple activities both indoor and outdoor
• Being able to accommodate the unforeseen to naturally happen in its space
The multileveled terraces inside and outside will invite its users to invent new ways to make use of the space.
A vast range of events can happen in the Arts Square levels: form big art installations, to movie projections, to fashion shows, theater performances, public lectures, music events, parties…
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