HOSPER is a multidisciplinary design bureau for landscape architecture and urban development. In our bureau the traditional borders between landscape architecture and urban development cease to apply. In thinking about and shaping the quality of space the two aspects become one and the same professional discipline. Our office consequently works with a wide range of assignments, ranging from masterplans to the design of outdoor furniture: in the city, on the urban periphery or further afield again. A number of design disciplines are represented in the teams: landscape architecture, urban planning, architecture and industrial design. This enables design interventions to be assessed straightaway at a higher level of scale for their potential implications at lower levels of scale, and vice versa.
HOSPER does not have a dogmatic design style. It is the open, unbuilt space which inspires the foundation of our designs. We create distinct spaces in which all elaboration of detail forms an essential part of the overall concept. Our plans vary from restrained and unassuming to exuberant and compelling but remain in all cases self-evident design solutions for a specific site and programme. The commissions we receive often demand an integral approach and a sustainable and durable solution. Therefore we are well used to working in design teams that include other disciplines, such as technicians, ecologists, practitioners of planned economy, architects and artists. At least as important is working towards an open planning process with future users, as it is they who will ultimately be investing the location with its significance.
HOSPER has made a proposal for the development of the grounds of the Zonnehuis care home and the residential complex De Ontmoeting in Amstelveen into a lively green pedestrianised area that enhances the quality of living of the inhabitants. The east side of the complex houses the new Zonnehuis care home, designed by Architectuurcentrale Thijs Asselbergs. The various buildings of the Zonnehuis are linked by a square paved in a distinctive pattern housing a number of richly planted green oases, a terrace, a play area and a sloping path with steps for walking exercises. Two gardens have been specially designed to be dementia-friendly, with the aid of advice from Anke Wijnja of Bureau Fonkel and Annie Pollock of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling in Scotland. The outside space surrounding the care complex consists of gardens with perennial plants and a greenhouse where residents can garden. The two halves of the Zonnehuis care home are connected by a covered pergola (which can still be used in case of rain). The ‘floating leaf’ design matches with the flower and plant motifs of the garden. The west side of the complex houses De Ontmoeting, four residential units on a multifunctional plinth designed bij Rijnboutt. De Ontmoeting is designed around a rich green patio garden that ties in with the gardens of the Zonnehuis.
The C-mine square is situated on the grounds of a former coaling mine and is the central open area of the new cultural heart of Genk. The former mine buildings around the square have been renovated and were transformed into buildings with a cultural program; a large theatre, a cinema and restaurants. At the Westside of the square a new building has been added: the Media, Arts & Design Faculty. HOSPER has made the site into a vibrant cultural heart of Genk and has designed the square so that it provides space for all sorts of events and activities. An obstacle-free surface was chosen with removable seating. Of course, at times of activities and a large number of visitors, the square will be lively and marvelous. However, it will remain a square with a dynamic and lively character even when there aren’t any events. The square is paved with Belgian black slate as a reference to the “black gold” of the former mine. It is the same stone type as the waste material from the mining activities that ended up on the terrils (cairns) of Genk during the reclamation of the mines. The slate is used in big sized flagstones and much smaller chips of slate. The floor gets a lively character due to the integration of a water surface, mist fountains, removable seating and lighting elements. The seating elements “Single Scatter” were designed by Carmela Bogman together with HOSPER. These chairs and stools, made of folded stainless steel, shine as glittering diamonds on the dark square floor.
The Hageveld estate had previously been a seminary, and part had been used as a secondary school. In 2002 the new owner wished to transform the Voorhuis into a block of (luxury) apartments. At the same time the Hageveld Atheneum College wished to expand the Achterhuis (back section). The spatial design of the estate is based on three concentric shells, each with an individual character. The main building forms the core, which is surrounded by the lushly-planted estate and, outside the estate, farmland. The two outer shells function as a (landscape) park. The quality of this representative side of the estate has been retained and enhanced by the construction of a large new ornamental pond that is ‘invisibly’ bisected by the entrance to the underground car park. The ornamental pond, with a water surface of 730 m² and a depth of 60 cm, has a rim of COR-TEN steel. Light shafts in the ornamental pond allow daylight into the underground car park. The openings are covered with coloured glass panels, each of which is an individual work of art. At night-time the light from the underground car park shining upwards through the panels results in a very special effect. In addition, the liveliness of the water is increased by the special fountains that are switched on at intervals and produce small bubbles just above the surface of the water.
HOSPER has been working on the Park of Luna for the past ten years, from the masterplan phase up until implementation. In collaboration with the municipality, Nelen and Schuurmans and DRFTWD this resulted in the development of an attractive recreational area with several activities and a naturally purified swimming lake at its centre. The middle of the area houses the Stad van de Zon (the City of the Sun). An autonomous element of 1600 homes designed by Kuiper Compagnons and completely surrounded by a ‘ring of open water’. This ‘ring of open water’ will separate the residential area from the surrounding recreational areas and guarantee that a ‘large amount of open space’ can be experienced in the plan area. Along the banks HOSPER designed the Beach of Luna. The recreational area has two sides: the inner side is oriented towards the open water and the Stad van de Zon, the outer side towards the surrounding landscape. The ambitious water system is unique: it is designed to store and conserve a great deal of water in the summer. A large amount of attention was devoted to the water quality, accessibility, and the ability to experience the water system to the maximum possible extent. To this end a number of structures were designed which include a circulation pumping station, a natural purification plant, a dephosphatising pond, a bridge, and a canoe crossing.
The Wilhelmina square is located in the centre of Leeuwarden and is the final piece of the project ‘Nieuw Zaailand’. Nieuw Zaailand consists of the new building for the Fries Museum, a façade of new buildings with shops and apartments and an expansion of the underground parking area. Through these interventions, the square becomes a more intimate space. In addition the Wilhelmina square will also become part of the pedestrian zone. In view of the public nature of the place an open planning process was essential to the project. Using 3 models in an online survey, the plan elements were examined to find out which plan could count on the most enthusiasm of the people and users. Based on this public consultation and the official advice, the Council opted for the model Carpet. The centre of the square will be paved with a chic rug made of three types of natural stone clinkers paved in a varied pattern. The carpet is a separate element and mediates between the differences in scale and construction period of the surrounding buildings. The carpet contains LED-lights, drainage lines and small fountains that contribute to the vibrancy of the square during the day and during the night. Multi-stemmed maple trees (Acer saccharum) are sprinkled over the square and protected by large ‘tree benches’ of 2 x 5 meters, which also serve as seats and naturally arrange the weekly market.