The Delta model
Since 2004, Bureau B+B has been working on the Blaricummermeent, a new district with 750 homes and an 18.5-hectare industrial site, located on undeveloped grassland by Lake Gooi. The project’s first priority was to create a village-like residential environment, but with a high density. This translated into a plan in which two networks are superimposed.
The first is a finely meshed pattern of homes on straight streets with a narrow and green profile and a wide range of residential typologies, including opportunities for working at home and hedges as property demarcations. A receding building line and the mix of types result in an informal quality.
The second network, which lies on top of the first, gives structure to the district and appears to have been inspired by themes from the English landscape style: a meandering river with an island in it, winding secondary roads that almost never cross at right angles and an aristocratic tree-lined lane as the main road. Where the roads converge, squares are created, with large and striking trees.
The central river that meanders through the plan area connects the existing body of water in the neighbouring district, Bijvanck, with Lake Gooi. The river was inspired by a presumed lateral branch of the river Eem, which must have flowed here centuries ago. The district is divided into two ambiances.
The Delta section is located in the district’s northernmost part and is oriented towards the water. The river’s water level is here linked to that of Lake Gooi. Living in, on and by the water is the central aspect here; in the main, villas with flat roofs are planned for this part of the district. Because the river is wide here, having an average width of 50 to 100 m, it is accessible to larger boats, which can moor alongside the villas. Floating homes with studios are being realized beside a pier.
The Stroom (Dutch for river or current) section is located in the southern portion of the plan area, and borders on the existing district, Bijvanck. This section is more oriented towards greenery, by or near the river, such that its elevation is close to that of the surrounding districts. The river’s water level here is higher; a weir between the two sections compensates for the difference in water level. The river that meanders through the Stroom section is narrower, varying between 20 and 50 m, rendering it accessible only to small boats and canoes. Most of the homes in this area have gable roofs. The importance the firm attaches to the narrative and associative aspects of a design is clearly apparent in the 2.2-km-long district park beside the river that, like the district itself, is divided into two ambiances, and where the levels of both ground and water vary from high to low.
The two ambiances are connected by means of a concrete path. Together with artist Paul de Kort, a landscape variegation was proposed which refers to the vanished ebb and flow effect of Zuiderzee times: a spring landscape, a stream valley, a wetland, a canal and a tidal area. The planting plan denotes the transitions between landscape types through the use of a more intense colour scheme at these locations: red, purple and pink.
- Location: Deltazijde, Blaricum, Netherlands
- under construction: 2009
- Client: Municipality of Blaricum
- Area: 71,2 ha
- Partners: LoosvanVliet