Mecanoo redevelops old gasworks in Hilversum


Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo is redeveloping the former site of the Regional Energy Supply Company in Hilversum, North Holland, which is now called ‘Villa Industria’, a neighbourhood with 357 homes comprised of mixed housing, small-scale businesses and sporting facilities.

According to municipal councilman Jan Rensen, Hilversum could potentially be getting a 21st-century monument. The ground that Villa Industria is being built on had to have a clear link with its past, part of which will include cylindrical apartment buildings intended to resemble the dismantled gasholders.

The various buildings that occupy this 74,000 m2 plot are linked by the use of red brick, and include shapes, materials and details intended to directly reference the history of the old gasworks, the most prominent of which is a cluster of three residential buildings enclosed by a cylindrical steel frames that mimic the shape of the gasholders.

Interestingly, the area Villa Industria is being built on used to be outside of Hilversum and was empty for quite some time, but thanks to the city’s continued expansion, it is now part of Hilversum. The forest is also within walking distance. Rensen hopes this new neighbourhood will attract new people to the country’s media city: Hilversum is where most Dutch television and radio is produced and broadcast.

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