Corner of Brusselplein

Utrecht, NL

How to integrate homes and shops with artistry and detailing?



Photo: Lansink, V.M

The Leidsche Rijn district of Utrecht is the largest new-build location in the Netherlands – but it was missing a beating heart. The Leidsche Rijn Centre Masterplan provides one. In this plan for a centre, located on a lively square (Brusselplein), De Zwarte Hond designed a five-storey building. The plinth houses a supermarket, while above it are apartments.

The sturdy corner building catches the eye with its dramatically textured plinth

The result, a strikingly solid building with intricate brickwork, contrasts vividly with the neighbouring buildings. The unusual brick treatment, featuring a stepped plinth, not only gives the building a striking appearance, but also provides extra privacy for the homes above.

Corner of Brusselplein

The Leidsche Rijn district of Utrecht is the largest new-build location in the Netherlands. More than 90,000 people were already living here – and the only thing missing was a beating heart. Jo Coenen designed the classic urban plan of tall blocks with retail and catering in the plinth and housing above: the Leidsche Rijn Centre.

Central to this plan is a lively city square, the Brusselplein. On the corner of this square, close to the train station, is the building designed by De Zwarte Hond, which houses a supermarket and 18 homes. It is a striking, sturdy building made of patterned brickwork, which differs from the adjacent buildings, creating diversity. According to the rules of the master plan, all the blocks are made up of a plinth, a middle section and a crown accent, and the corner buildings are accentuated too. So too here: the corner building has a heavily layered plinth. Seven bricks on the outside and five on the inside make it a striking eye-catcher. This detailing also gives the homes more privacy, because you can’t see into them as you walk past the plinth. Privacy is further enhanced by the continuous ‘Parisian’ balcony on the first floor.


Corner of Brusselplein
Utrecht, NL
4.350 m²
a.s.r. vastgoed projecten
Catering & Retail, Residential
More info