Europaplein

Location: Heemskerk

Client: Dreef Beheer B.V.

Phase: Under construction

Vacant shops are making way for a new supermarket and an underground car park. This is how we prepare the Europaplein shopping centre for the future.

 

The Europaplein shopping centre is located exactly on the border between the towns of Heemskerk and Beverwijk. Europaplein was built in the 1960s and has been renovated several times, with the last major renovation taking place in 1997. Over twenty years later, the shopping centre was in need of another major metamorphosis.

 

Fresh, clear, and simple

Prior to the renovation, many retail spaces in the shopping centre were vacant. Most of these unoccupied stores are now making way for a new 2,000 m2 supermarket and an underground car park. The car park provides additional access to the entire shopping centre and conceals the parked cars from view, making the public space a more pleasant environment.

 

In creating the architectural plans, we were inspired by designs as seen in photographs from the 1960s, which radiate a certain freshness, clarity, and simplicity. We aimed to translate these concepts into the entire plan.

 

Adding a human dimension

We started by dividing the shopping centre into three volumes. This way, we’ll be adding a human dimension to the building, adjusting the scale to better fit the surrounding residential area. Each building volume has its own rhythm and open-close ratio.

 

Where possible, we create interaction between the interior and the public space. By positioning the tapis roulant parallel to Europalaan, the liveliness of the shopping centre is shared with its surroundings.

 

The roof of the arcade “floats” above the substructure, emphasizing the fabric of the building and the position of the entrances. This design element also allows for a large amount of daylight to enter through the skylights.

 

Moreover, the retail units will be fitted with aluminium fronts or transparent shutters, ensuring that the atmosphere in the centre remains pleasant when the stores are closed.

 

Texture and dynamics

The facade is executed in masonry, both in horizontal and vertical directions, with stretcher and tile bond. By creating recesses, texture and dynamics are added to the exterior. The material palette is modest. In the arcade, the masonry of the outer facade reappears. Similarly, the pillars will be partially finished with tiles.

Uncluttered views

The entrance to the car park is located at the beginning of the Europalaan, close to Beneluxlaan to limit traffic movements. The car park has sixty generous parking spaces and is accessible via two tapis roulants, an elevator and a staircase. Above the entrance there is a “patio” where supermarket equipment can be installed. As a result, it will be less visible both from street level and from the surrounding apartments.