Art by the River Rhine

Arnhem has searched for years for a feasible way to connect the city centre and the river Rhine, in the area around the Nieuwstraat. The urban design and the development strategy by Urhahn give shape to this ambition.


    Master Plan Rijnboog

    The city council of Arnhem decided not to proceed with the construction of a new harbour in the inner city in march 2010. A harbour was one of the detailed plans of the Master Plan Rijnboog, designed in 2004 by Manuel de Sola Morales. Still, the municipality aims to continue the intention of the Master Plan: connecting the city with the river Rhine. Therefore the municipality decided to hold a multiple assignment for a design of the Nieuwstraat Area. Urhahn won this mini competition with a surprising new approach: an art cluster on the other side of the Rhine, directly connected to the city centre via a pedestrian bridge. Urhahn together with city and stakeholders developed an urban design that complements well the existing street pattern and at the same time adds its own quality and atmosphere to the inner city.


    Alternative strategies

    In the summer of 2012 it became clear that the plan for the Nieuwstraat was no longer feasible. Developers retreated and the cultural programme came under pressure. The municipality owns much of the property in the area and therefore had to search for a new direction. Urhahn showed on the basis of the principles of the Spontaneous City that there are good alternative strategies. By renewing buildings one by one, involving the users and investing in public space, the city grows slowly. The best example of this strategy can already be seen in Arnhem around the new library: here an office building has been transformed into hotel, an empty plot has been designed as a temporary park and the shopping street in this part gets more customers again.


    Link between city and river

    In 2014 it was decided not not realise the museum by the Rijn. The step-by-step strategy must now be carried out, starting with the church square as connecting link between the historical centre and the Rijn.