The site -largely leftover spaces on the edge of twentieth-century transportation infrastructures- is vast and fragmented, yet it already hosts a rich combination of uses and activities: history, sport, allotments, working fields, habitat. These activities, however, are not structured to address questions of overall function and accessibility, nor do they create a meaningful civic experience.
Laaglandpark is a new type of productive park for Merksem, an important new civic and productive link in Antwerp's Green Ring. Working the earth and working the body are the two primary goals for the park, and they expand upon the popularity of sporting fields and allotment gardens that are scattered across the site. Yet the park strategy extends these tendencies, in order that it better supports new habitat and better accommodates flooding.
All these activities and functions are then rendered more public, more civic, by the ways in which they are located next to each other and interlaced with new walking and riding paths and promenades. Contrasts in atmosphere and activity are amplified, establishing a rich variety of experiences within and a striking identity for the park.
Plant succession strategies allow for the building up and emergence of new habitat areas over time. Field rotation strategies address issues of soil compaction (from intense human use) and nutrient depletion (from farming and gardening).
- City of Antwerp
- US 1.9 million (1.4 million euros) [initial steps only]
- Design Team
Fondu Landscape Architects