Defence Island

Woerden, Netherlands

Living on a quiet island in the middle of the city

Defence Island is located in the Singel near the historic centre of Woerden, and is part of the old fortifications around the inner city. Until recently, the island was used as a depot and management facility for the Ministry of Defence. With the military terrain recently being made available, the island will undergo a transformation in the coming years, again making it an integral part of the city of Woerden—and a unique location. In 2011, Karres en Brands was asked to revise the original master plan and design by KCAP, incorporating this into an urban plan. The biggest challenge in the design is to once more associate Defence Island with the city of Woerden, and make it a part of the route between the train station and the city centre.

The plan provides for approximately 240 homes, charming squares, and beautiful walking routes in a unique location. The main focus of the redevelopment is to preserve the identity of the island, with its distinctive, rugged construction and green character. Some buildings are renovated, while new buildings are designed as often as possible in the style of the old buildings, or respond to the architecture of the Singel. By incorporating the existing pavement’s materials in the new structuring of the public area, it will also connect this public space to the original atmosphere and character of the island. Four new bridges, designed by Karres en Brands, connect the new residential area with the surrounding city.

Project data
Location ​Woerden, Netherlands Google Maps
Assignment ​Design urban plan, visual quality plan, public space organisation, and bridges
Size ​3.3 hectare
Design ​2011 – 2014
Construction ​2013 – present
Status ​Realized
Client ​De Wasserij CV (VORM Ontwikkeling and Blauwhoed Eurowoningen Zuidwest BV)
Team ​Bart Brands, Sylvia Karres, Marco Broekman, Onno van Rieven, Jeroen Brinkers, Elke Krausmann, Jasper Nijveldt, Cristina Colonetti, Uta Krause
Copyright images ​Photo Chiel van Diest
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