Within the masterplan Havenkade Nijmegen, VOA has made the architectural design for 164 social houses in collaboration with Thijs Asselbergs. Commissioned by housing corporations Talis and Portaal, a divers mix of homes has been created in a recognizable ensemble. Characteristic are the double-height entrances that connect the new city street and the inside of the building block.

The exterior has a robust masonry architecture. The inside has a more neutral detailing that serves as the basis for the greenery in the courtyard.


urban model

Located on the harbourfront of the river Waal, Havenkade is the latest residential addition to Nijmegen’s skyline. The development is part of a larger urban transformation plan for the Waalfront, the city’s former industrial neighborhood. The project is a collaborative initiative, notable for its diversity in housing types. Comprising of 324 apartments, 164 units are social rent for housing corporations Talis and Portaal, designed by Thijs Asselbergs architectuurcentrale and van Ommeren architecten, and 38 mid-level rent and 122 owner-occupied apartments, commissioned by BPD and designed by JURY!

"One of the great achievements of Havenkade Nijmegen is the cohesive nature of its architecture. The recognizable ensemble is achieved through a strong plinth and defined entrances, complemented by subtle differentiation of brick detailing within the mass. Havenkade is an urban anchor through which its rhythmic façade acts as a wrapper connecting the former industrial harbour to Nijmegen’s old centre."


Fallon Walton, architect

Building for variety in housing

"The Housing Market Survey 2019 shows that there is an urgent need in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region for more affordable housing in general, and for small apartments for starters, newcomers and singles in particular,” says Michel Pott, project manager at Talis. Collaborating architecture offices, Thijs Asselbergs architectuurcentrale, and van Ommeren architecten, see tailored standardized construction and modular building as the solution of the future. Serial-produced housing projects that consist of diversity in housing typologies create architectural richness with lasting value. The variety in Havenkade’s housing typologies – waterside, streetside, or inner courtyard living, as well as a range in size of apartments and maisonettes – offer diverse housing opportunities for Nijmegen’s community.

The urban plan for the Havenkade plot was also made by Asselbergs and van Ommeren. The original plot was allocated for two separate building projects, however, they proposed an integrated development to create a cohesive building that maximized the benefits of shared resources, such as mobility infrastructure, landscaping and a robust architectural ensemble. “Our business is to build,” says Joeri van Ommeren. “Therefore we don't make things more complicated, but find the connection in architecture to make a project move forward.”

Green living along the harbourfront

Havenkade’s position on the water’s edge creates the opportunity to connect with the view of the harbour and river Waal, as well as main bike route along the dike towards the city centre. The inner courtyard opens to the harbour, making a connection with the public waterfront and landscape. The landscape, designed by Felixx Landscape Architects and Planners, combines the need for mobility infrastructure and green environment. Future-proof interventions along the dike were made for flood defence, allowing for parking integrated with trees planted in the open ground and rainwater infiltration on the courtyard, contributing to a climate-adaptive and healthy living environment.


Joeri van Ommeren, Fallon Walton, Thijs Asselbergs
Nieman, Croes, SAB, Bureau BOOT, Felixx
Eva Bloem
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