After the park opens to the public, a visitors will never visit the same park, as it the bands keep changing according to the rhythms of both ecology and industry.
The design furthermore uses recycled concrete for the heavier vehicular bridge and wood for the pedestrian bridge. In this way a smart allocation of materials was used according to different uses and weight loads. Additionally, the guide rail for boats was designed to have the double function as a public deck which provides recreational access to the waterfront.
The design forms a scenic route that starts on the plateau of Mount St. Pieter and gradually reveals the quarry, which has been coined a hidden valley. Two concrete walls guide the visitors through a boundary of vegetation and lead up to a panoramic viewpoint. Here a sublime man-made landscape is revealed, with steep cliffs that are unique and unexpected in the otherwise flat landscape of the Netherlands.
The stairs then descend 50m down into the quarry, forming a geological route. Resting stops are subtly aligned with stratigraphical transitions marking major geological events in the history of the earth. The platform is symbolically aligned with the old road that used to connect Maastricht to Liège: the Luikerweg. When the reclamation is completed the connection between the Netherlands and Belgium will also be restored.
The design for a drinking fountain stresses the geographic relationship through referencing the unique geological formation underneath each fountain. These soil sections are then mixed with concrete and poured into a uniform mold. The fountains are then distributed throughout a watershed, thereby creating a poetic connection between the geologic particularity of each place and the larger hydrologic region.
After completion the quarry will consist of three zones: the quarry wil become a public landscape park; the former factory will transform into an innovation campus for concrete production; in between these two a transition zone will be built where these two opposing worlds intersect. The design for the transition zone is inspired by techniques, elements and textures found in the quarry: industrial excavators, heaps of residual flint rock and creeks formed by groundwater seepage. The use of drones allowed for the planning of precise excavations, which were executed in the last years of industrial exploitation. The designed micro-topography forms: pathways that stage views and emphasize unique geological events and spatial effects; a drainage network that doubles as a source for heating and cooling; unique orientation to different plots for future development.
This design research was commissioned by the Board of Government Advisors and the province of South Holland. The question was to look at business parks from a regional perspective. Instead of approaching the assignment as an aesthetic issue, we focussed on the underlying systems and mechanisms that determine the establishment of business parks, namely: environmental zoning, land speculation, and regional infrastructure.
Our proposal explores the opportunities of re-using the old waterways that formed the backbone of regional commerce in the past. "City Ports" are proposed as transfer hubs strategically positioned in between the massive logistic landscape of the port of Rotterdam and future cities where clean industries and housing could co-exist once again. This proposal thus establishes a regional basis for an urban and architectural task that seeks to gain control over the proliferation of business parks and to reintegrate parts of the peripheral economy into the urban environment.
Through a specially developed measuring system Amsterdecks gives an indication of the water quality and provides safe access to the water. Through an online application people will be able to get information about the fluctuating water quality in Amsterdam.
Ultimately, people will learn how Amsterdam’s water quality is influenced and how it can be improved. The decks in that sense form a liquid commons, stimulating individual and collective actions that could improve the quality of one of our most important shared resources.