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Naaldwijk Wilhelmina Square

participation, design square, VQP terraces
Mark van Rijnberk
Marike Oudijk
Mevrouw de Voorzitter
het LUXlab
municipality of the Westland
apx. 4100 m2
Square, street and quay
Year of design:
Photography / illustration:
Pieter Kers, Stefan van Gentevoort

Historical core
The Wilhelmina Square is the historic heart of Naaldwijk, the central urban core in the Westland area with a wide range of shops and catering facilities. Not surprisingly, the square is used for many activities such as markets, leisure activities, entertainment and events. The square thus not only has significance for the immediate area but also for Naaldwijk and the Westland as a whole.

The current layout of the Wilhelmina Square is not particularly attractive. The square is mostly empty. This is convenient for the weekly market and (large) events, but it also ensures that on ordinary days the square is a windy place that feels empty and cheerless. The square also lacks a system in which multiple functions can coexist.

Intensive participation process

The municipality of the Westland has the ambition to transform the Wilhelmina Square in Naaldwijk into an attractive and bustling square. To achieve this a participation process was set-up in which all interested parties, such as market traders, restaurateurs, retailers, the church council, residents and visitors could contribute their ideas.

In an intensive process and guided by HOSPER a clear image of the desired spatial design, including the use of the square, emerged. During this process there have been sessions with a wide range of people, and workshops with a "focus group" in which the different interest groups were represented.

By emphasizing the historical character, the central positioning of the village pump and adding vegetation and seating areas the square will become more comfortable, more secure and a better place to linger. Within this spatial design the various functions and activities on the square, such as the weekly market, an improved positioning of the terraces and space for various events, were incorporated.

The night view of the square is atmospheric. The historic lampposts and fittings, with candle-like modern LED technology, will evoke a soft atmospheric evening picture. Several lanterns in the square and on the walls, mounted on a height of 3 meters, will ensure a uniform level of illumination at eye level. In the middle of the square the monumental village pump and the new spray-fountains will be illuminated.