The Delta model

Beginning in 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 next to Lake Gooi. The project’s first priority was to create a high density but village-like residential environment. This translated into a plan consisting of two superimposed networks.

The first network is composed of a finely meshed pattern of homes on straight streets with narrow green profiles and a wide range of residential typologies. It includes opportunities to work from home and uses hedges as property demarcations in order to create larger sense of privacy. A receding building line and the varied architectural types result in informal qualities.

The second network, is overlaid on top of the first, giving structure inspired by themes from the English landscape style to the district: a meandering river with an island, 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 striking trees.

The central river that meanders through the plan area connects the existing body of water in the neighboring district, Bijvanck, with Lake Gooi. The river was inspired by a presumed lateral branch of the river Eem, which must have flowed through the area centuries ago. This water element divides the plan 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 linked to that of Lake Gooi. Living in, on and by the water is the central aspect; villas with flat roofs are placed because the river is wide, having an average width of 50 to 100 m, it becomes accessible to larger boats, which can dock alongside the villas. Floating homes with studios are placed next to a pier.

The Stroom (Dutch for river or current) section is located in the southern area of the plan area, and borders the existing district, Bijvanck. This section is oriented towards the greenery, and is by or near the river, such that its elevation is connected to 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 firm attaches great importance to the narrative and associative aspects of a design which is clearly seen in the 2.2-km-long district park beside the river that, like the district itself, is divided into two ambiances, where the levels of both ground and water vary from high to low.

The two ambiances are connected by a concrete path. Together with artist Paul de Kort, a landscape addition was added that 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 color schemes at these locations: red, purple and pink.

  • Location: Deltazijde, Blaricum, Netherlands
  • under construction: 2009
  • Client: Municipality of Blaricum
  • Area: 71,2 ha
  • Partners: LoosvanVliet