Hedwigepolder – border as origin

2013 – Border Event Hedwigepolder, june 14 – organized by Mark Eker Landscape Architecture / Henk van Houtum (Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, RU Nijmegen), including the design / study results of Architectural Things (Hein van Lieshout) + Stijn de Weerd, LAMA Landscape Architects & H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten.

Our task was to make a design / research with the theme “desire” from the Dutch context of the borderscape between Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and Belgium. The Dutch side is an open rural area. Dwellers are leaving the countryside. The Belgium side is a growing agglomeration, where houses are expensive. The Belgium main port of Antwerp is expanding. Because of this there’s a command of bigger ships. Therefor the sea arm has to be deeper and the tidal will rise. Because of this the location Hedwigepolder will be an over float area and the rural “polder” will be a landscape of marshes. But…without the institutional border it seems logical that the whole cultural landscape would be swallowed by the expanding port of Antwerp.

We want to preserve the open landscape with the qualities of emptiness, quietness & darkness for the coming generations by creating a strategy to fulfill the command of housing in Belgium.

Our proposal is a “defense line”, more like a fence between neighbors, using the typology (ribbon development) of the region. We created a sheet piling construction: 50% openness, 50% facades, where people can built their new dwellings, offering 1 façade to combine Belgium freedom with a Dutch planning order. Because of the development we keep the rest of the cultural landscape open, answering the command for new housing and articulating the institutional border and give it a measurement and wideness. The border is visible and more than an institutional line on a map. Here is where the border dwellers meet and overlap. A Dutch saying says: : prefer a good neighbor than a distant friend”.

 

1. Concept image – The end op Hedwigepolder

Architectural Things border as origin - concept2. Durch border dwellers against drowning land

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3. Port of Antwerp expanding without the institutional borderArchitectural Things border as origin - no borders worst case scenario4. Current situation – invisible border

Architectural Things border as origin - map current situation5. Development to save the openess of the landscape – physical border

Architectural Things border as origin - map conceptual proposal6. We can’t let the genius loci & farmer Herman fade away over vast expansionism

Architectural Things border as origin - let not fade away the farmer and his land

Architectural Things border as origin Landscape

7. Articulation of the border with a sheet piling fence – offering a piece of (land-)art

Architectural Things border as origin - ribbon development vista8. Offering a facade, art-work, path & fences – for future development

Architectural Things border as origin - ribbon development9. The borderscape grows, the hinterland presserves for Herman and it’s colleagues

Architectural Things border as origin - ribbon development I10. Dutch planning & Belgium ribbon development mark & define the borders origin

Architectural Things border as origin - ribbon development II11. And in the the drowned land our path speaks the language of the new marches

Architectural Things border as origin - path low tide in marches12. Floating on the tides

Architectural Things border as origin - path high tide13. Leading to a landmark overviewing the borderscape

Architectural Things border as origin - landmark overviewer14. And during time, the dwellers reclaim their land

Architectural Things border as origin - pioneer settlement15. With a monumental border, telling a two sides story

Architectural Things border as origin - visable border development

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