Plan Tide: Living in a Tidal Landscape

DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS

Designer: Stijlgroep Landscape and Urban Design, Netherlands

The design is made for a closed competition to develop a vision for the polder ‘Jagers en Windhond’. This polder is located outside the main water restraining dyke structure, a stones throw away from the protected national landscape of the Biesbosch. In our winning design proposal we declare the landscape as leading in the development. Therefore the polder is ‘returned’ to nature. The transitional area of former sport facilities, between the park Wantij and the bordering residential areas, is given back into the direct sphere of influence of the tidal regime of the Biesbosch. High tide and low tide determine to a large extend the experiential quality of the living environment and the continuous natural development of the landscape as the collective public space. Reed, tidal shrubbery and scrub bush, and swamp forest stands, interspersed by expanded open water dominate the image and atmosphere of the area. The relationship between the height of the homes, the normative high tide and the dykes resulted in very specific starting points for the design. Solutions vary from living on piles in a collective landscape and alternative ways of preparing the land for building to a closed mass-haul diagram. Sustainable urban development and architecture resulted in creative solutions: from the concept level (water as spatial structuring principle) and the elaboration of the plan (urban nature and ecology) through to civil engineering (closed mass-haul diagram). Last year we welcomed a new family into the area: the in Holland endangered beavers.