KCAP designed the spatial development framework for the former naval airfield Valkenburg in the municipality of Katwijk. The spatial framework responds to the urbanization challenge in finding a suitable area for residential housing in the southern Randstad. The urban design pays tribute to the past of the area by incorporating the different historical layers, from the former creek landscape to the runways and the landmark buildings of the site in an inclusive and sustainable proposal.

KCAP, commissioned by the Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf), has designed the spatial development framework for the northern part of the former naval airbase Valkenburg in Katwijk. The plan provides space for 3000-3500 houses. The full development will be about 5600 houses.  This transformation of the former naval airbase into an attractive living environment is seen as creation of the fifth inclusive core within the municipality of Katwijk in the Dutch Randstad.

For the framework and to create a new village with its own identity, the integral approach by KCAP combined the historical layers of the area, from the former Delta landscape to the latest occupation. All characteristics and technical site specifications were integrated into a parametric design process that delivers a flexible and sustainable spatial framework in which the main structures of roads, water and landscape are defined.  Within the framework, flexible development areas are created that can be developed according to time and demand.

The former military landscape will be transformed in to a new, inclusive core within Katwijk municipality. A sustainable, navigable creek landscape that allows the clean dune water to flow through the area, forms the base for the reclamation of the former airbase and will shape the new core as the natural legacies play an important role in setting out KCAP’s vision. In addition, the former runways create a connecting crossroads that links the new village with the surrounding landscape. The short runway connects the dunes with the lake of Valkenburg and forms the programmatic backbone of the new core. The long runway links the Oude Rijn to the open polder landscape towards Wassenaar. The crossing of the runways will mark the new centre and will be home to the communal infrastructure as schools, shops, restaurants, care institutions and a church. Characteristic spots in the area, such as buildings of the former airfield, will become important landmarks.

The urban development framework is the result of an intense collaboration of the different stakeholders. t offers a spatial outline for a sustainable and inclusive environment where eventually some 12,000 to 13,500 new inhabitants will live.

The urban development framework was designed by KCAP with the future in mind, planning for innovative mobility, for less cars and more bikes, for more walking and the new inclusive core  to become energy-neutral, powered by wind and solar energy. It offers opportunities to improve the ecological quality of the local green zone.

“We are proud to deliver a spatial development framework conceived to build a unique and eco-friendly new core in a strategic position in the Dutch Randstad where we foster community building and people will live in close proximity to nature” says Jeroen Dirckx, urban designer and partner of KCAP.

After the approval by the Executive Board of the municipality of Katwijk in late May, the spatial development framework has now been submitted to the municipal council for further evaluation. A decision is expected after the summer. It forms the basis for the zoning plan that is expected to be approved in the  first half of 2021.