1991 - 1996
1991 - 1996
Park Valkenberg is part of the daily walk of many train passengers from the station towards the city center. The old city park in the English landscape style was not designed for this, and was dilapidated and unsafe. The redesign was based on the existing strengths: the rich history, the monumental trees, the characteristic height differences and the large pond.
Michael van Gessel
The original character of the overgrown park was made visible again through radical cleaning up and simplification, without going back to a purely historic approach.The designers supplemented the characteristic system of wandering routes with two broad main paths made of asphalt, where people could walk, cycle and roller-skate, to improve the connection between the station and the inner city. New elements included a sandbox in an oval-shaped terrazzo shell, a modern pavilion, and specially designed lighting elements. The memory of an earlier seventeenth-century castle garden took shape in a new boxwood garden, on its original location. Attention to detail gave the park back its allure. For example, the sunken baroque garden has a special bluestone seating edge and a special tile was developed to emphasize the curved line of the pond’s edge.
In 1995, the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment praised the result by naming Park Valkenberg the Fourth Policy Document’s model plan for public space. The success continues: fifteen years later, in 2010, the park was nominated best public space of the year. Over the past decennia, the park has developed into a peaceful spot in the middle of Breda’s inner city, where the sounds of the city pleasantly intrude.