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Zutphen Groenmarkt

refurbishment square & street
Ronald Bron
Marike Oudijk
Mark van Rijnberk
Studio DL
municipality of Zutphen
5000 m2
Square, street and quay
Year of design:
Photography / illustration:
Ferry Streng

A search for balance
HOSPER was commissioned by the municipality of Zutphen to make a plan for the IJssel Quay the Groenmarkt (square) and the Marspoortstraat (street). A series of public spaces that connect the river IJssel to the historic city center of Zutphen.

The task for the Groenmarkt was emphasizing the historic qualities and creating more space for terraces, without resulting in a rigorous decrease of the parking function. The historic Wijnhuis tower is the focal point of the Groenmarkt and forms the link with the car-free residential area of the inner city. In the design the parking spaces at the foot of the Wijnhuis tower have been removed to create space for terrace extensions for the existing catering businesses. Parking is now only possible along the facades, opening up the line of sight from the Marspoortstraat to the Wijnhuis tower.

Historic sidewalks
Dark basalt curbstones and "flowing" strips of various types of granite (partly historical and reused) thread the residence and parking function together. In addition, the characteristic sidewalk pavement zone directly along the facades has been restored to its former glory, creating a divers façade that fits the historic market.

New trees were placed closer to the walls leaving the Groenmarkt as an open square and creating a vista from the Marspoortstraat towards the Wijnhuis tower. High, ornate streetlights have been installed along the facades. The width of the Groenmarkt is bridged by attaching span-lighting between the masts. Thus creating an obstacle-free market square with unobtrusive lighting elements in which the historic buildings come into their own.

Axis Groenmarkt - Marspoortstraat
The axis Groenmarkt - Marspoortstraat intersects the boundary of two districts. The Groenmarkt dates from the Middle Ages and the Marspoort gate was the transition between the medieval town and the surrounding area. After demolition of the fortifications and the Marspoort in the second half of the 19th century the city expanded with the IJssel Quay and the Marspoortstraat. To visualize this transition the paving material changes at the height of the former Marspoort in a smart dark brick, matching the nineteenth century surroundings of the Marspoortstraat. The position of the Marspoort gate has been visualized with basalt cobblestones.