Prinses Beatrixplein Haarlem

Haarlem, NL

How do we create a new heart for a post-war neighbourhood?


Prinses Beatrixplein

At present, the area is still occupied by ground-level parking and the qualities of the extensive green spaces are not well used.

In its current state, the Dreef (‘the Avenue’) is an unenclosed, wide asphalt road.

Prinses Beatrixplein is the heart of the post-war district of Parkwijk in Haarlem-Oost. In addition to housing and a shopping centre, the area around this square also has a number of special functions, such as an old people’s home (the Reinaldahuis), an international language school (the ITK) and a neighbourhood centre. The current shopping centre is very outdated and part of the project is to upgrade it into a new heart for Parkwijk. The existing qualities, such as the monumental trees and the varied programme, offer many opportunities to create a new focus for the neighbourhood. The new heart will combine high-quality public space with a mix of shopping, living, working, leisure and social functions.

Ten-minute district

Continuous landscape

Heart of the neighbourhood

Ambition Map

The Dreef as a bearer of identity

The neighbourhood as a stage

The vibrant heart


Low traffic

Intimate and human scale

The Ambition Map summarizes the following six ambitions to be achieved:

1. The Dreef as a bearer of identity
The Dreef is the area’s main public space and identity. Together with the central square (Beatrixplein) to the north, it is the most public place in the neighbourhood. The Dreef is designed to be as green as possible and is clearly defined by continuous building lines.

2. The neighbourhood as a stage
Along the Dreef (green), around the square (north of the Dreef, yellow) and along the Sportas (red) are the important non-residential functions such as the shopping centre, the mobility hub, the international language school, the Huis van de Wijk (neighbourhood association) and the gym. The main public spaces are also located along these long lines, which connect to the main lines and functions in the area.

3. A beating heart
The square marks the end of the Dreef on the north side and is the beating heart of the neighbourhood. It’s the place to meet the neighbours and spend some time. From the tranquil Reinalda Park, visitors are led along the Dreef to the square. There are numerous shops around the square and plenty of space for terraces and greenery. The square is enclosed and bounded by a clear line of buildings.

4. Connected
New connections ensure a seamless link with the surrounding area. The Dreef connects the new heart with the Reinalda Park and the Sportas connects the Jac van Looystraat with the Louis Hartzstraat. The crossability of the streets around the plan area is important for the success of this ambition.

5. Slow traffic
Slow traffic is the first priority for the redevelopment. Cars will circulate outside the plan area and park in two garages. There is an underground car park under the supermarket (dotted) and a five-storey above-ground mobility hub with additional functions in the plinth(red). The mobility hub is the place where residents can park and, for example, pick up parcels or have their bike repaired. It is one of the neighbourhood’s meeting places. From the garages people can walk home through the public space. This encourages (spontaneous) encounters. There are no cars in the plan area, and vehicle access is limited to  emergencies and stall holders. This ensures that there is as much space as possible for greenery, safety, playing, meeting and slow traffic.

6. Intimate and human scale
The buildings follow the character of the public space, which has a clear hierarchy: from the wide, very public places such as the square and the Dreef, to the narrower, more private side streets and the Sportas, to the intimate, semi-public and collective courtyards. The buildings and the transition zone correspond to these different degrees of publicness.

The closed character is transformed into an open area that is well connected to the surrounding neighbourhoods

Non-residential programme

Residential programme

Location and entrances of the underground car park and the mobility centre

1. The non-residential functions are distributed throughout the area

2. A high degree of variation in the housing supply ensures a wide mix of residents

3. The rapid collection of all traffic in two collective garages creates a car-free area with plenty of space for slow traffic and greenery

With three height accents, the building heights at the edges of the plan area remain low

Axometry of the plan area

Sketch of the Dreef

View of the square

View of the square from the shopping street

View of the Dreef

Prinses Beatrixplein Haarlem

The heart of Parkwijk (BEA) will be an open, pleasant and recognisable area with the Dreef (‘the Avenue’) as its identity carrier. The vibrant heart of the neighbourhood is well connected to the surrounding areas. A special feature of the neighbourhood is the social programme, which is located along the Beatrixdreef like an interconnected system. An important element of the plan is the mobility hub, which contributes to the lively centre both functionally and spatially to the vibrant centre. The mobility hub strengthens the identity of the area and ensures that it is car-free. The urban plan defines clear public spaces. The heart of Parkwijk is marked and reinforced by height accents. On the western side, a composition of semi-open building blocks has been chosen. This creates a fine-meshed network of slow traffic routes connecting the Dreef and the new square with the surrounding neighbourhoods.


Prinses Beatrixplein Haarlem
Haarlem, NL
40.000 m²
Gemeente Haarlem, Dreef Beheer, Pré Wonen
Urban Design
Catering & Retail, Residential
Development Phase
De Zwarte Hond
More info