Municipality of Hengelo Area Report

Hart van Zuid

The Municipality of Hengelo (NL) lies in the eastern part of the Netherlands, near the German border. Hengelo is situated between the A1 and the A35 motorways and the Twente Canal. Hengelo / Twente is part of the west–east gateway from de Randstad to Berlin. Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Warsaw and Moscow are directly accessible from Hengelo’s international rail links. The city covers an area of 6,187 hectares and has 81,312 inhabitants. Hengelo has an appealing heritage, acquiring the name of “Metal City” from as early as the nineteenth century due to the achievements of companies like Stork and Dikkers. Hengelo remains the hub of the high-tech metallurgical industry. Existing buildings have lost their original function and vital parts of the industrial estate are no longer being utilised to their full potential. One of the constraints on redevelopment has been the transport of chlorine by rail from the chemical company Akzo, based in Hengelo. As a result it has not been possible to develop dwellings, a community college or leisure facilities in the area.

The transport of chlorine by rail has been a problem for all municipalities on the railway routes, because of the hazards to the population in the event of an accident. Relocating the chlorine factory to Delfzijl has been the solution to this problem, since transport by ship is now possible. This was agreed at a national level and supported by the European Commission. On the 1st of January 2006, the chlorine factory started operations in Delfzijl.

Hart van Zuid is the revitalisation project of the former Stork-Dikkers complex. This project incorporates approximately 50 hectares of former industrial ground, adjacent to the town centre. It is one of the largest inner urban revitalisation projects of the Netherlands. The area is situated between the main railway station and the Twente Canal. In this area there will be space for new houses, offices, a community college, leisure facilities, a World Trade Centre office with hotel and congress facilities, a House for Europe, and other development proposals. This will be mixed with compatible industrial activities. The vision is for an area where people are able to live, work and play. New infrastructure, such as the Laan Hart van Zuid, is under development to improve accessibility to the area and to the central railway station.

Industrial Heritage

On Trails of the Past

Industrial heritage is a key aspect of Hart van Zuid. The research into the existing industrial heritage of the Hart van Zuid area was undertaken by civil historians, who analysed the existing buildings, including the structure of the entire area, and examined the historical, cultural and architectonic aspects.

Studies showed that the Stork–Dikkers complex is of national significance. This implies that every effort should be made to maintain the essence of the complex and, where possible, to retain aspects of its physical form. This research led to the publication of the book “On Trails of the Past”, which is now used as a guide for redeveloping industrial heritage in the Hart van Zuid project: for instance, the former Foundry Hall, the“Weverij”, and “the Buigerij.”