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Nieuwe Markt Pavilion, Roosendaal

Entrance parking garage, Shops, Lunchroom, Offices, Roosendaal NL, Project Team: René van Zuuk, Kersten Scheller, Chimo Vila-Belda, Jorrit Spel, Client: Municipality of Roosendaal, Start of design: 2005-2006, Completion: 2007, Area: 620 m², Volume: 4.000m³, Building costs: €1.600.000

In 2001, the city of Roosendaal (a provincial town in the southwest of the Netherlands) decided to ban cars from the New Market in the town centre by building a huge, two-storey underground parking. In order to create a new public square, the city asked the urban design office Quadrat to make a design proposition. In their scheme, they proposed to pave the square with red and brown brick, plant 15 trees, make three exits for the underground parking, and as the most visible and important element, they suggested the construction of a restaurant and coffee pavilion in the form of an oval shape.

In 2005, a public design and construction bidding for the contractors was organized. Just before the entries were submitted, the municipality decided to include the pavilion as well. Therefore, they commissioned the office of René Van Zuuk to come up with a design for the pavilion, including the contract drawings, over a very short span (5 weeks). Due to these limitations, there was no time to make big changes in the urban scheme The plot location, as well as the form of the pavilion, were taken from the original urban proposal.

The idea behind the design process was that the pavilion would divide the square into two parts in such a way that the visitor would still have the feeling of being in one big homogenous space. The pavilion would contain terraces spanning above the ground level, following the concept of the urban development plan. These terraces would then overlook the market activities that take place twice a week. Originally, the terraces could only be reached through the interior of the pavilion. René van Zuuk decided to make the terraces accessible from the outside of the building as well, so that one can walk from the square, up onto the sloped roof, and onto the terraces, turning the roof into a public area. The entrances from the roof to the pavilion, are made by cuts in the sloped surface, providing every floor with its own terrace. The rest of the roof acts as a big stage, which allows artists to give performances in the outside space in front of the pavilion. On the south side, the pavilion reaches its highest point. This part of the building cantilevers over the main entrance of the parking garage, allowing daylight to penetrate deep into the two levels below.

In order to make the cuts in the roof and to accommodate the cantilevering part, the structure is made by a simple braced steel grid of 4.2m x 4.2m and 3m high. The orientation of the grid coincides with the location of the entrance of the main shopping passage. This results in a new direction of the square, rendering the space more dynamic. The original square dates from the 1970s when architecture was cold and monotonous. The new urban scheme adds some warmth to the square plot, with the addition of trees and using materials such as brick. Since the quality of the surrounding buildings is not that high, the urban scheme and the new pavilion serve as a catalyst for further architectural innovation in the city center.

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