top of page

The CiBoGa Terrain, Groningen, NL


Studio Woodroffe Papa 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. We organised workshops with key stakeholders and interest groups, researched housing types and collaborated with the city’s landscape architects and ecologists.


We 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.

1029.Ring Culture.jpg

Situated on the old ramparts of the city and historically a place of transition and movement, the site called for a different design approach to form public and communal spaces that could deliver both urban character and suburban qualities. 

220111 Green Corridors.jpg

Green Corridors

220111 Vehicular Access + Parking.jpg

Vehicular Access + Parking

220111 Pedestrian Circulation.jpg

Pedestrian Circulation

220111 Commercial Spine.jpg

Commercial Spine

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.

Arial view of Schots 1, 2 and 3

Arial view (CGI) of Schots 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8


View looking towards urban plaza between Schots 1 and Schots 2

Studio Woodroffe Papa 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’.

View looking towards entrance to Schots 2 courtyard


View of multi-levelled courtyard inside Schots 2

ebbingekwartier 3 Foto VanWonen.jpg

Views of Schots 5

View looking towards De Bloemhof’

View looking through the interior of Schots 4

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 : Studio Woodroffe Papa

Schots 3 : AAS Architecten

Schots 4 : Studioninedots

Schots 5 : BDG Architecten

Schots 6: DAAD Architecten

De Bloemhof: Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer

bottom of page