NAi China Program | day III

NAi China Program | visit to Roombeek culture cluster by SeARCH | Enschede, Sep 1 2010

After Rotterdam and Amsterdam, there was Enschede, located in the North-East of the Netherlands. The final day of the NAi China Program [see day 1 & day 2] consisted of a visit to the city’s Roombeek area. Here, in May 2000, a catastrophic fireworks explosion occurred killing 23 people and destroying 40 hectare area around the warehouse. Around 400 houses were destroyed, 15 streets incinerated and a total of 1,500 homes were damaged, leaving 1,250 people homeless – essentially obliterating the neighbourhood of Roombeek.

A decade later, the Roombeek area seemed to be in the process of recovering well. While large part of the plan is realised by private contractors and contains both free standing villa’s and diverse row houses, important pillars of the masterplan by Pi de Bruijn [] include a number of former textile businesses, the original street layout, the route of an old railway line and the idea of reintroducing the ‘Roombeek’ waterway. As part of rebuilding a community along with new opportunities for city building, the project website states:

The reconstruction plan was devised in close consultation with affected residents who wished to return to the neighbourhood. In part on their request, the history and identity of the area were given a great deal of consideration.

For more information on the project, read Aaron Betsky’s “How to Rebuild a City” & “Dutch Light“, Archined’s “The New Roombeek” or visit Roombeek.NL (previously

The heart of the new development is Roombeek culture cluster, a project by SeARCH.
MovingCities’ Mónica Carriço was involved in the project while working at SeARCH.

Following architects were present during the third and last day:

Location visited during the third day in Enschede: Roombeek  [o.a. Pi de Bruin, Bjarne Mastenbroek, SeARCH, Claus en Kaan, Jan Benthem, Erick van Egeraat, Architekten Cie – 2008].

NAi matchmaking program | Enschede, September 1, 2010

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PREVIOUSLY | NAi China Program | day 1 & day 2

Related |Shenzhen | Taking A Stance | June, 2010

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