|Rhenen, the Netherlands||Municipality of Rhenen, Bouwfonds Ontwikkeling BV, Van Wijnen projectontwikkeling Oost BV||20 hectares, of which 7 hectares housing||design 2009, realisation started 2013|
Throughout the 20th century the Vogelenzang site was used as a sand quarry and industrial area. After the closure of the factories, the landscape was left with a gaping wound.
Still the site is one of exceptional beauty, located at the foot of a steep, densely forested, south-facing slope, next to the river Nederrijn. Decades of excavation destroyed the hilly landscape but also resulted in the creation of a lake.
Two important goals formed the basis for the design of the new housing development. First the design had to reintegrate the two excavated plateaus of the site into the gently sloping landscape, reconnecting the area with its environment. The second goal was to enhance the views of the Nederrijn, lake and hills, thereby increasing the development’s appeal.
To achieve these goals, terraces were introduced, gently sloping from the western area down towards the central green space.
This space accommodates a playground and will form the heart of the development. A sophisticated rainwater draining system has been developed, leading all the water to the central green area. Here water can slowly infiltrate whilst special plants function as a natural filter.
Gently curving streets add to the informal character of the new quarter. To enhance social interaction, narrow streets lined with verandas and front gardens will be designed, creating a lively neighbourhood. Communal gardens will be situated in the western area to preserve the views to the Nederrijn.
To ensure architecture of a high quality, design guides have been developed. A set of specific colours for the building materials have been chosen to blend harmoniously with the surrounding natural environment.
Vogelenzang forms a key project in the ambitious plan to connect the National Parks ‘Hoge Veluwe’ and the ‘Utrechtse Heuvelrug’ by opening a passage for deer along the banks of the Nederrijn. Considering the high ecological value of the lake, and the steeply forested slopes, only one-third of the location will be used for housing. The existing flora and fauna of the remaining land will be maintained to accommodate the deer population.
Restructuring Vogelenzang and broadening the green corridor along the river Nederrijn will heighten Rhenen’s tourist appeal. The green corridor is not only accessible for animals but also for a sensitive form of tourism, linking the historical town to the ‘Blauwe Kamer’ where wild horses live in their natural habitat.
urban design, design code, landscape architecture, design coordination and supervision