Grave is a strategic fortified town in Noord-Brabant, with a rich military history. The town formed the gateway to the powerful Holland, and as such, was fought over for centuries. Its strategic military past is a central theme in the design of the public spaces and redevelopment of the various urban sites.
The Old Port in Grave is considered a forgotten part of the city centre, dominated by 1960s high-rises. Re-integrating this isolated part into the city is an important consideration for the project. Within the framework of development plan, ‘Vestingvisie Grave’ by West-8, we are diminishing this status through the deployment of three iconic strategies.
The southern section
The southern section will be developed into an urban block, through which the large De Wijnberg building will gain an additional wing, forming an architectonic extension of the monastery. The Brugstraat will be attached to the site by means of Grave-style housing that will reflect the signature of the fortified town in their shape and detailing.
will be restored as a town monument, both internally and externally. The distinctively decorated corridors – and in particular, the church interior – will take on a leading role in the building’s new life. In their new guise, De Wijnberg and its surroundings are no longer an island, but a revived section of fortified town by the Old Port.
The introduction of a new side street,
connecting the Oliestraat with the Old Port, ensures that the building blocks are given a typical Grave dimension. Here too, the architecture is shaped by the buildings that display the traditional mark of Grave.
The Wijnberg plan features two modern reference points that shift the area into the 21st century. Firstly, the high-rise will be lowered and enhanced with a surrealist glass cloud reminiscent of greenhouses and glasshouses.
From inside, the cloud offers stunning views of the surroundings and the river. The second reference point comes in the form of a block at the top of the port, representing the first building for the site from an urban development perspective.
The second reference point
comes in the form of a block at the top of the port, representing the first building for the site from an urban development perspective.
the view of the church will be unblocked, reinstating its dominant position in the skyline. History is being added to the present. And it is in fact the details that keep the past alive and afford the new townscape the aura that Grave deserves.
Within this large-scale project,
Architecten|en|en adopts the role of architectural supervisor and is jointly responsible, along with Monadnock and LA architecten, for the architectonic townscape of Grave. West-8 is the overall supervisor and will sign off the urban development plan. Kruitkok joins the team as landscape architect.
Project Name: I am Grave
Location: Grave – Holland
Client: Prinsenstal Vastgoed B.V.
Program: Transformation of a former monastery into 29 appartments, restaurant and commercial spaces, 3 urban dwellings, 1 urban villa, 50 apartments and 1 ‘Friends’ house (3 apartments with shared communal space)