There is a lot of empty space in the Netherlands. At present about 15% of the offices in the Netherlands are empty. Probably this vacancy increases in the coming years. Vacant offices are bad for the quality of life and business climate.
This problem is also applicable to the store strips in the old neighbourhoods. Abandonment and decay is a threat here. To preserve the cores from the reconstruction period we need to go back to the qualities of the retail strips. This is inexpensive space for shops and activity in the proximity of many homes with enough parking spaces.
The aim is to preserve store strips as a central place in the district with operations aimed to the neighbourhood itself. The question is how to preserve this type of store strips for the future.
The purpose is to increase the attractiveness of this business location. Various aspects play a role: parking, shops, design of public space, accessibility and presentation.
For the landscape architect the public space is the domain. In terms of presentation and branding the sites generally make a poor impression. The presentation is out-dated, not attractive and inviting. It is often not clear that there is a shop strip.
In the presentation of the shop strips there is not some sort of commonality and common appearance. They are the expressions of the individual shops but they lack collectivity. There lacks a common icon or image that underscores the strength of the strip.
To improve the shop strips as business location, we add a new layer that is focused on presentation. This is a cheap, easily accessible, rapid improvement of the presentation of the shop strips. These are new icons on buildings, which have a major impact on the attractiveness.
In the design of the presentation of the shopping strip we are guided by the architecture of the reconstruction and the style of ‘signing’ of the period. They are often bright and iconic minimalist additions to the architecture.