Het Warenhuis Oss


July 27, 2022

Once called the ugliest building in the city of Oss, a former department store is making way for an impressive newcomer: Walkwartier. Retail and housing in the area will be enriched by a healthy dose of culture, clustered in the interior of Het Warenhuis, designed by includi. Walkwartier will become the new vibrant urban heart of the Brabant city.

Sprinkling the surroundings with many different functions helps set the scene for social cohesion and interaction. Bringing a variety of activities and programming to spaces under the same roof, also known as multifunctional accommodation, attracts a distinctive mix of users at all hours of the day. The mixed-use Walkwartier, designed by the Dutch architectural firm Dok Architecten and developed by Van Wanrooij Projectontwikkeling, is the largest new inner-city construction project in Oss since 1751. With the creation of this space,  the City of Oss is nourishing its community, taking important steps to ensure it remains relevant for its residents, both today and tomorrow. In addition to Walkwartier, an urban sports park will be constructed in the surrounding area.

Bustling with life

The City Archive, STOOOM’s high-tech discovery lab, diverse activities and exhibitions of cultural organizations, lectures and debates from the public library… these are some examples of exciting experiences you can have in Het Warenhuis (Dutch for department store). A bustling area is emerging around Het Warenhuis; there are 131 apartments being built, and space for stores and restaurants. 

Back in 2017, includi’s Creative Director was invited to give a talk about third places in Oss. “It was then that we first laid out the plans for Het Warenhuis – then called UIThuis – and our ideas about a third place,” remembers Aat Vos. “Later, when Van Wanrooij Projectontwikkeling and Dok Architecten had hooked up, we held another short-form workshop to check whether the concept we had thought up earlier still fit. And it did, seamlessly.”

“Identity, flexibility and clever multiple use of space are important themes in this process, in which the rich industrial regional heritage will be embedded in the interior concept in a refreshed way.”

Tessa Wennink Tessa Wennink Interior Designer at includi

A design that fits like a glove

With different organizations also come diverse needs and wishes for the new building. How do you deal with the limited space so that everything fits and functions well? All organizations agree on one thing: Het Warenhuis must become the beating heart of Oss, a place that brings new perspectives and becomes THE meeting place of Oss. Het Warenhuis will be a place that sparks and supports encounters, evolvement and entrepreneurial endeavors.

“In 2019, includi’s first two mini-workshops took place. The first sketches and ideas of the plan emerged. The results of the user investigation in 2022 were being incorporated into a four-day workshop with the organizations that will cohabitate in Het Warenhuis. In the LookBook that includi is currently developing, the users’ exciting ideas are being translated into an interior that fits both themselves and the building. Identity, flexibility and clever multiple use of space are important themes in this process, in which the rich industrial regional heritage will be embedded in the interior concept in a refreshed way,” explains Tessa Wennink, Interior Designer at includi.

The information in this project post will be updated once further steps are taken in the development process of Het Warenhuis.

Project credits

Client: Gemeente Oss
Workshop, interior design: includi (team: Aat Vos, Niels van Veen, Thijs Alberts, Sylvia van der Sluis, Eunice Ma, Tessa Wennink)
Architect building: Dok Architecten
Project developer: Van Wanrooij Projectontwikkeling
Constructor: Berghege
Sketch: includi
3D images: Van Wanrooij Projectontwikkeling 
Team photos: Thomas Segers