Schilperoort Park


On a spur of an old sandy strip and at the same time a stone's throw from Leiden Central Station, a highly urban living and educational environment has been realized, abundantly embedded in the greenery. The monumental buildings of the former cité medicale have been transformed, nine elegant residential towers have been added and the (new building of the) University of Applied Sciences Leiden completes the new ensemble. This Schilperoortpark is also a new public space as part of the much larger Leiden Bio Science Park.

The wish for densification, preservation of cultural history, the addition of green space and more biodiversity are united at this unique early 20th-century location. An urban Master plan has been drawn up so that more than 1500 homes can be realized. New elegant buildings will be added to the monumental brick buildings, which will tower above the trees as standing accents and make the park visible from the surroundings. Although the area is very dense, the area is low-traffic and lush green. Here, in the heart of the Randstad, red and green go hand in hand.

The cars have largely disappeared from view. Behind the original gatehouses on the Wassenaarseweg, a system of paths and roads in classic clinker pavement has been laid out and a new planting of trees has been added to the existing area. Because the area is located on the spur of an old beach wall, the park is rich in vegetation despite the sandy subsoil in the area.

In a north-south direction, the structure of buildings is interrupted once by a green vein that connects the Bosman Forest with the Leeuwenhoek Park. With a subtle transition from rolling forest with woody vegetation, to the openness of a recreational meadow and culminating in a relaxed southern corner with a graceful pond with seating areas and a café with a sunny terrace,  a zone with diverse use is realized. Because of this landscape openness, a system of park paths has been created that connect Schilperoortpark with its surroundings. In this space, the namesake and founder of the Leiden Bio Science Park, Rob Schilperoort, is commemorated with a memorial: a symbolic and at the same time striking gateway to the park, coming from the Wassenaarseweg. Everyone is welcome in this innovation district!

Client: University of Leiden Type: Masterplan en design public space Size: 12ha, 180.000 sqm GFA Duration: 2009 – 2024 Status: Completed Supervisor: Henk Hartzema Design team: Federica Francalancia (project leader), Mirko Acampa, Michael Baroch, Luisa Viero, Bas van der Vinne In cooperation with: VVKH architecten, EDM Tuin & landschap, Copijn