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The CiBoGa Terrain, Groningen, NL

S333 was commissioned to assist the municipality of Groningen to develop a new masterplan for the CiBoGa terrain, a 14ha industrial site that lies close to the city centre. S333 organised workshops with key stakeholders and interest groups, researched housing types and collaborated with the city’s landscape architects and ecologists.


S333 concluded that the densification of the CiBoGa terrain had to be combined with a comparable 'intensity' of spatial openness, to enable the site to complete the final missing link in the city's ecological plan, and to connect the inner-city Noorderplantzoen park to the city outskirts.


The CiBoGa terrain as the 'missing link' in the city's ecological plan

The masterplan is based on five organising principles: (1) to cap the polluted ground with underground parking (2) to convert existing industrial buildings for new public uses (3) to create a mix of live/work residential units (4) to support the residential accommodation with shops and collective functions (5) to create a strong, clear identity for the landscape and public spaces.


The masterplan proposed 13 ‘schotsen’ - compact residential blocks with collective internal courtyards – that float in open landscape that connects the Noorderplantzoen city park to the Oosterhamrikkanaal. Residents are encouraged to walk, to cycle and to use pubic transport. One underground parking space is provided for every two new dwellings.


The ambition for the open landscape is to promote broad and active use, to improve the ecological quality and to ensure that local residents are the main users of the site. Industrial buildings on the site are restored and rented out for cultural activities.


S333 was subsequently commissioned to realise phase 1 of the masterplan, Schots 1 + 2. The project delivers an extensive range of housing choices that vary according to orientation, to access and to how they relate to existing buildings. The blocks are 'opened up' to form a sequence of inter-connected collective 'parochial' spaces that range from courtyards and roof terraces to belvederes, courtyards and private gardens. The multi-layering of activities and landscape offers an alternative to the interiorised and hermetic world of the traditional urban block.


Following its completion, Schots 1 + 2 was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2003 and the masterplan has since become a national pilot scheme and demonstration project for sustainable urban renewal in the Netherlands. The project was nominated for the 2004 DIFA-Awards ‘City Development Prize’.

The CiBoGa Terrain, Groningen, NL



Municipality of Groningen


900 residential units

9,000 m2 mixed-use space

Underground parking for 1000 cars

Site area

14 ha


Schots 1 + 2 : S333 Architecture + Urbanism

Schots 3 : Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer

Schots 4 : Studioninedots

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