Den Helder city center
2006, Den Helder, The Netherlands

Den Helder: a city of 58,000 inhabitants located in the north of Holland, between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea and home to Netherlands main naval base. During the last few decades the city has been plagued by a steady decline in population, a neglected innercity and the loss of its relation to the surrounding sea. The task ahead for Den Helder is to rethink her content and character as a Maritime City.

In our design to revitalize the city centre of Den Helder and reposition it towards the sea, we proposed several key objectives. In the city center our main ambition is to restore the existing urban tissue, housing and public space, densifying the existing commercial program and the addition of a central park. Our ambitions for the harbor and its docks is to develop a full-fledged and complete city quarter with a mix of functions, dwellings, commercial and recreation. Central to this development is the embedding of a strong cultural program, spearheaded by the development of a new theater at the former naval base.

Since West 8's involvement of the project from 2006 there are several milestones achived in the course of years. One of the first projects that has been delivered was the new Stadspark completed in 2009, characterized by its prominent trees. The elms are planted in an eight degree angle, as if they were formed by the onshore wind. It refers to the leaning trees that can be found in the surrounding landscape of Den Helder. 

In 2014 the Beatrixstraat, the city centre's shopping area regeneration project has been completed and at the former naval yard Willemsoord, a new City Theatre was also opened in 2015. in May 2016 a re-programmed liburary building SCHOOL 7 has been opened also and forms another catalyst in the new city center of Den Helder. 

See below the recent presentation of 3D animation of the Den Helder Station Area Regeneration project:

Animatie van het stationsgebied Den Helder from Zeestad Den Helder on Vimeo.

More information regarding the most recent developments of the Den Helder city center under the masterplan scheme of West 8 can be found at Zeedstad's official website.

Zeestad CV/BV
Proper-Stok Ontwikkelaars, Synchroon, Woningstichting Den Helder
BBN, Geurst & Schulze architecten, Tony Fretton Architects
Edzo Bindels, Bruno Wöber, Emanuele Paladin, Felix Lauffer, Jasna Stefanovska, Joris Weijts, Maarten Buijs, Marco van der Pluym, Perry Maas, Peter Vredeveld, Rense van der Hout, Rikus Beekman, Robert Schütte, Yichun He