Urban housing on Groningen’s CiBoGa site

The urban housing on Langestraat on the CiBoGa site in Groningen facilitates a gradual transition to the city centre. CiBoGa is the former Circus-, Boden- en Gasterrein industrial site on the edge of Groningen’s city centre. The urban plan for this site is being developed in phases and is characterised by many green areas, limited traffic, open water and the so-called schotsprincipe. The housing blocks are based on an ice floe concept, none of the streets are straight and all the blocks have a striking form. The urban housing on Langestraat forms the setting for this exceptional plan and facilitates a gradual transition to the city centre.

The 51 ground-level homes are clustered in three blocks in a restricted traffic area. The blocks have a profiled and smoothed finish – both horizontally and vertically – creating an interesting sculpture, specifically created for this site. This ultimately resulted in 22 residential typologies ? each clearly distinguishable both spatially and programmatically. All the housing units have their own gardens or a roof terrace, and some have both. The façade on the street comprises orange-red brickwork, giving the housing a warm aspect. The vertical rhythm, an enlarged house number and a small, built-in concrete bench mark the individual units. At the rear the façades and storage facilities are constructed in vertical wooden sections.

The basement car park, for both residents and visitors, is under the housing blocks with the entrance integrated in the housing on Boterdiep.

The CiBoGa site was realised during the financial crisis and the local earth-tremor problems, which actually affected the housing blocks on Langestraat. During the crisis, the plan was optimised in such a way that the project could still be carried out while retaining its architectural quality. The final block to be built incorporated earthquake-proof measures.