Heart of the Waalsprong

Nijmegen, NL

How do we make ‘cosy’ new?


Heart of the Waalsprong

To the north of the Waal in Nijmegen, a huge new residential area is being built: the Waalsprong. For this residential area, a facilities centre was required that would have the characteristics of a cosy small town.

This kind of statement is not unique. In the Netherlands, shopping centres are being built in many Vinex neighbourhoods with architecture that suggests a classic, historically developed whole. Unfortunately, this almost always results in a fake façade architecture, in which the image and the underlying programme have no relationship to each other. Of course, things can be done differently.

Model of the new facilities centre

Site map

The architects involved

Facet map

The central city square is the beating heart of the new residential area

Architectural elements

Brick detailing

The architecture of the Hart van de Waalsprong builds on the characteristic brick architecture of Nijmegen. This strengthens the urban design. Using various design techniques, the two large building blocks have been articulated into smaller sizes and scales, which suits the public space and the underlying programme.

These design tools include parcelling, stacking the programme, the use of setbacks and additions, the choice of materials and the use of urban development accents.

Cosiness can also be contemporary.

Heart of the Waalsprong

The Heart of the Waalsprong is the amenities centre of the new residential area of Nijmegen north of the Waal, near Lent. It should become the missing link between Nijmegen North and the city centre and will include approximately 11,500 m2 of commercial space as well as 450 homes. The assignment consisted of giving the amenities centre the character of a ‘town’, including the accompanying pleasant atmosphere. De Zwarte Hond designed the urban development plan and the shopping area. The landscape design is by De Urbanisten.

The central city square is the beating heart of the development. This is where you find the bigger shops and the food and drink offering. It’s the place for everyday and special events and a meeting place par excellence. From the central city square, a green route with ‘wadi’ valley takes the visitor via squares and gardens to the River Waal, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding area. The cyclist and pedestrian are central throughout the plan and there is a good connection to the public transport network. The district is also climate-adaptive. The architecture builds on the traditional brick architecture of Nijmegen.


Heart of the Waalsprong
Nijmegen, NL
6.7 ha
Architecture, Urban Design
Catering & Retail, Infrastructure, Residential
Development Phase
Eva Bloem
More info