In close cooperation with Jaarbeurs, cepezed has designed a master plan for large-scale redevelopment of the Utrecht Jaarbeurs. Also due to its central location and excellent accessibility, this fair and exhibition complex has developed into the largest of the Netherlands over the last hundred years. To maintain its (inter) national competitive position, Jaarbeurs prepares for major adjustments over the next decade. Among other things, the masterplan is directed towards increased sustainability, a more efficient utilization of space, improved logistics, better user experience and a stronger connection with the direct surroundings and the city. Related to the costs and high number of stakeholders, the master plan explicitly functions as a point of departure, not as a blueprint.
The plan concentrates all parking in the area between the Merwede canal and the Overste den Oudenlaan. In the current situation, this is a parking zone already. With additional capacity and public transport facilities, it will become a mobility hub and gateway for visitors of both the Jaarbeurs and the city.
Concentration of the parking facilities along the canal and demolition of the existing Oranjehal clears an area of over eight hectares along the Croeselaan. Agreements for this area have been made with the municipality, which will coordinate a redevelopment with functions such as living, working, retail, culture and leisure.
A clear structure, flexibility, multifunctionality and a high level of facilities are basic principles for the phased redevelopment of the actual fair complex, that is situated in between the aforementioned zones. Double use of grounds, the integration of substantial green zones and the activation of the fair halls towards their surroundings are important themes. One of the South Halls characteristic features is a large central events courtyard that enables the combination of inner and outer spaces. The roofs of these halls are fitted with transparent strips, sedum plants and solar panels. Above the North Halls, two office and housing towers are projected, which will also work as a landmark for the whole complex.
A central element in the master plan is the pedestrian axis between the parking area on one side and the Beatrix Hall and the new OV-terminal on the other. This consists of the Jaarbeurs Passage between the North and South Halls and the Center Boulevard running from the halls towards the city center. The route is flanked by a multiplicity of lively and engaging functions like leisure, retail and other activities. These will strongly add to a high sojourn quality and constitute an autonomous charm also attracting for by example local residents and people working in the area.