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The Hembrugterrain




Hembrug Zaandam BV (ABC Planontwikkeling, L.I.F.E. Europe B.V. and Ten Brinke)


2017 - present


Marco Broekman, Christa Rinzema, Milja Hartikainen, Rebecca Smink, Saskia Kleij (previous: Pinar Balat, Onno van Rieven, Guido Martin, Paul van Eeden, Chiara Stucchi, Mariëlle Wetter, Chloé Charreton, Imane Boutanzit, María Navarro Sánchez)


Masterplan, Urban Plan, Image Quality Plan, several studies

Main collaborations

Strootman Landschapsarchitecten, Group A architects, Venhoeven CS, Dam & Partner Architecten, Goudappel Coffeng, Buro Bouwfysica, Did Vastgoedontwikkeling, Kickstad, Firma Stek




2021: Masterplan Hembrug

2022: Urban Plan Hembrug Northern Part

2022: Image Quality Plan

Currently working on the Urban Plan Southern Part


Hembrug is a unique site located in Zaandam located along the North Sea Canal and the river Zaan. The former military terrain of 42.5 hectares has a rich collection of unique building typologies, area identities and landscape structures, and will be developed into a mixed area for living, business, art and culture, nature and events. In total 180.000 m2 new program will be developed. The first important steps for this distinctive development have been made through the adoption of the Masterplan Hembrug by the city council, and the approval of the Urban Plan Hembrug Northern Part by the board of the Municipality of Zaanstad.


Besides the housing assignment, energy and mobility transition, sustainability, and the right balance between the historic character and new structures, are important themes that are included in the urban development plan.

Preservation of the historic character

Future development will preserve and further strengthen Hembrug’s current character, for example, through the construction of a mix of larger and smaller typologies with varied roof shapes and through the reinforcement of the forest in the northern part. At the same time, the public space will be carefully designed by taking the current atmosphere and use of the terrain into account.


Sustainability is an important theme in the urban development plan. Important design principles related to sustainability area: the ‘tree-friendly’ positioning of new constructions, designing green squares, limiting car traffic, strengthening the green structure, creating natural banks and water storage.


New regional connections with Zaanstad and the development of high quality, well-connected public spaces for walking and cycling in Hembrug are embedded in the development plan. Furthermore, parking will be accommodated as much as possible at the edges of the area around mobility hubs, in order to preserve the qualities of the public spaces.

Hembrug northern part

Hembrug is being developed in different phases, starting with the northern part of the terrain. The northern area is approx. 26 ha including the Hembrug Forest of approx. 15ha. The main characteristic of this area is the dense forest, the associated qualities should therefore be preserved and further developed. For that reason, 1.400 trees will be planted, which is significantly more trees than will be cut for the development of new buildings.   


Due to the concerns of the surrounding industries regarding the negative side effects of existing environmental nuisances on the future residents, most of the housing program will be developed in the northern part of the terrain at greater distance from the nuisance sources. As a result, the urban plan carefully proposes the development of tall residential buildings in order to meet the housing target and to provide more open (public) space. Approx. 93.000 m2 housing including 8.250 m2 non-residential function will be developed. The housing program is intended for various target groups and consists of social housing, free sector housing, owner-occupied apartments and single-family homes.


Hembrug southern part
The second development phase is the southern part of the terrain. The southern area is approx. 16.5 ha and has a different spatial character than the northern area. The area is mostly characterised by diversity of unique building typologies owned by many different stakeholders. Most of the non-residential program will be developed in this area.


Currently BURA urbanism is working on the Urban Plan for the southern part; it is expected to be finished at the beginning of 2023.

Intensive cooperation

The team of designers and experts is working together with the existing users and stakeholders in and around the area, leading to an adaptive step-by-step urban plan. By means of this participation, everyone's interests are carefully taken into consideration.

You can find the public project documents and more information about the process here

Qualities of Hembrug terrain

Positioning of Hembrug in Zaanstad and MRA. Source: Hembrug Masterplan, 2021

Urban principles. Source: Masterplan Hembrug, 2021

Urban and landscape principe. Source: Urban Plan Hembrug Northern Part, 2022

Possible subdivision of the different construction fields in the northern part. Source: Urban Plan Hembrug Northern Part, 2022

Indicative plan Hembrug Northern Part. Source: Urban Plan Hembrug Northern Part, 2022


Schematic section constructions field Hembrug Northern Part. Source Urban Plan Hembrug Northern Part, 2022

Scheme sustainability construction field 2

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