2020 UDAD 🏆 Awards

Winner: Cable District Delft | Mei Architects and Planners

Building on existing qualities, activity and a rich industrial past, Delft Kabeldistrict (cable district) is a distinctive contemporary urban expansion in which on a large scale a historical business park is being transformed into a vibrant living and working environment. The visible fusion of old and new creates its own identity that contributes to a strong cohesion and connection between future entrepreneurs and residents. With a high degree of circularity and a layered integration of greenery and water, Delft is at the forefront of productive and sustainable area development.

Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2020

Cable District Delft
Urban Design Concept

Mei Architects and Planners

Mieke Winkel

Design Team
Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Rob Grim, Hugo Plat, Nima Morkoc



©Mei architects and planners

From 1914 to the present

In 1914 the Dutch Cable Factory (NKF) opened at the Schieoevers in Delft. After WOII, the NKF grew into one of the world’s leading cable factories. Factory II eventually became vacant in 1999. In 2017, Mei architects and planners has been commissioned to design a masterplan for the Kabeldistrict. The municipality has the ambition to develop Delft from a knowledge city into “HighTech Capital”. The Kabeldistrict offers the opportunity to contribute to a significant part by modernizing the existing business park, connecting it to the knowledge-intensive TU Delft Campus and stimulating the innovative manufacturing industry.

Time layers

The Cable Factory is part of the industrial past that Delft is proud of. The transformation of this area builds on this quality by giving meaning to three different timelayers. The first layer represents the old way of working, visible with the preservation of the Cable Factory with endlessly long factory halls. This historical layer becomes intertwined with the contemporary layer: the new construction of new architecture for new people who will settle in the area as entrepreneurs or residents. The third layer is that of tomorrow. On a small and large scale, there is visible work on the future and innovation is central. The amalgamation of old and new creates a unique identity of its own and forms the soul of the new Kabeldistrict.

Concept design

The development of the Kabeldistrict embraces and reinforces the character of the old factory and acquires a typical Delft atmosphere with compact, car-free streets and green courtyards.

The structure of the existing factory has been taken as the starting point for the new district. The roof is taken off the factory. The characteristic steel lattice girders and facades are maintained and form typical design elements in the buildings and in public spaces. Within this construction, ground-level living / working homes are realized with roof terraces combined with a fine-mesh street pattern. Apartment buildings are placed on top of this layer in strategic places. The street pattern has a hierarchy, varying from public yard to semi-public court. The addition of articulated volumes in multiple levels provides the desired compaction and a pleasant human scale and size.

Mixing communities

The user of the Kabeldistrict is central to the plan. The spatial structure has been carefully designed for a pleasant transition of buildings with different scales. Due to a strong mix of programs in the plinth, and compact indoor bicycle parking solutions, there is a high degree of social safety and comfort. With the creation of intimate places where encounters are possible, the human scale is strongly present.

The Kabeldistrict ultimately attracts people with the same mindset. People with the same mindset who come to live and work together are involved in the place. If you live in a collective garden you know the neighbors. The children play together in the street. You meet neighbors on foot to the train. In short; inclusive communities are being built in the Kabeldistrict.

Registrations open… Don’t miss the opportunity to win with your visionary projects.