Michel Desvigne Paysagistes, Singelpark Design Competition, poster
0 500m100m 200m1 I 2 I 3NAN ALTERED SPATIAL STRUCTUREThe progressive transformation of the historical fortifications has perhaps altered their extraordinary spatial potential. Amultitude of spaces of different forms, characters and uses have developed punctually according to opportunity, and eachspace has evolved according to its own logic. This accumulation has developed to the detriment of the overall spatial scale:that of open space previously provided by the «glacis» and water which encompassed the historic centre.Today, the banks, often inaccessible, illegible, appear almost as those of a charming yet improbable river. There is no spacefor recoil, no breathing space. The space is not a whole. The water reads as an extremity, a boundary, and not a wide openspace, so necessary in a city with such a dense urban fabric, which lacks any public spaces of ample dimensions.SEARCHING FOR THE SCALE OF THE EMPTINESSRedefine this void, and recreate a scale is the key concern of our proposal. In no case is it to make a formal historicrestoration. The objective is to find the qualities of a great empty periphery which appears to us as a spatial opportunityopen to many uses. It offers above all a space of recoil; it creates a distance to the city which supports a mental image thatwe may seize.Naturally many aspects of the future park must be developed; physical, programmatic, events based aspects, issues relatedto governance. This can only take place with all the stakeholders involved and with time, not possible within the frame of thisshort consultation. Nevertheless we are convinced that a spatial evolution can both cause and determine all other actions.THE SCULPTING OF THE VEGETATIONThe spatial re-composition we propose is essentially the sculpting of the mass of trees and the remodeling of the slopesand topography. The sculpting of the vegetation consists of cutting, pruning, transplanting and planting trees in order tocompose masses and voids, to reveal where possible open areas sloping to the canal such as the historical «glacis». Werealize the difficulty of this exercise, however we are persuaded that it constitutes an indispensable preliminary step towardsthe creation of the Singelpark.To avoid perversion of the concept or any desecration of the site, several rules should be followed:- The sculpting of the vegetation mass is a global vision for the park that unites all future transformations and all newprojects with each and every stakeholder.- The sculpting of the existing vegetation privileges the planting of trees. We shall plant more trees than that which arecut. The careful study and selection of trees shall seek to preserve the prominent and beautiful existing trees and will followthorough consultation. The preserved trees will be revealed and magnified as individual monumental trees.- The sculpting of the vegetation mass is a reconstruction that is not a historical restoration. The intention is not toplagiarize the historic fortifications, but to play on the qualities of open space adjacent to the canal, with setback distancesand the evidence of the emptiness and of forms.- The sculpting of the vegetation mass is not complicated to accomplish.- The sculpting of the vegetation mass is a prerequisite for the future Singelpark.SCULPTING THE VEGETATION: THE SCALE OF EMPTINESSLANDFORM : TYPICAL SECTIONOur proposals may be resumed by a typical section.Exterior bank : creation of a ample continuous tree lined promenadeA new traffic plan of the city, can provide the opportunity to in time reconfigure the outside edge of the canal. Pragmaticstudies which have been conducted in many European cities have ring roads that become a succession of segments relatedto one-way wider circuits. We propose that one lane of cars would be freed up, providing enough space for both maintainingthe car parking spaces for the neighbourhood residents and a beautiful and spacious continuous promenade opened up forthe benefit of both pedestrians and cyclists.Interior bank : in the image of a «glacis»The transformation here concerns creating wide open spaces wherever possible along the inner bank. This means on theone hand, re-qualifying existing parks and on the other hand, transforming some neglected areas or industrialised andservice areas.Canal sideThe aim is to amplify the magnitude of the open spaces created. In order to achieve this, the spatial scale of reference mustbe minimized: very few roads, no fixed furniture between the majestic trees.City sideThe «glacis» is supported against a densely wooded vegetation mass which bonds with the various facades of the builthistoric centre. All furniture and fixtures including playgrounds and the main pedestrian pathways will be installed at theredefined woodland edge .
N1 I 2 I 3Lammermarkt• The surface car parking is re-located underground.• Circulation is revised in order to create a public spacecentral to the cultural district.• The existing car park becomes a grassed open park.• Grassed slopes are re-sculpted at the waters edge.• The trees and shrubs around the windmill areselectively sculpted open up views of this architecturalfeature.• The double avenue of plane trees is extended westalong the Lammermarkt road and newly planted treescreate a dense green backdrop to the park.Museum Park• The waters edge of the park is redefined as the centralarea of a park system and not the back (behind the scenes)of the museum• The connection along the bank to Lammermarkt ismade clear• The slope of the bank is reprofiled• Trees are selectively opening up the bankMorspoort• Clarification of the spatial structure• Relocation of the car parking• Cutting of hedges and shrub layers between thepublic plaza and the museum siteMarepoortkade• The mineral quayside in brick is retained.• The urban experience of this area of the park isassumed.• The horse chestnut trees on the quay are removed.Nieuwe energy building and power station site• A pedestrian walkway creates not only a connectionbut a usable open deck adjacent to the industrial buildingsat the water’s edge.• Access and fencing of the factory is reorganised toallow a continuous water’s edge promenade.• Where possible open areas of park are created atthe water’s edge.• The poplar trees at the water’s edge within the factorygrounds are sculpted.• The dam which currently obstructs circulation on thecanal is removed and replaced by a bridge.• The grounds of the power station are densely plantedincluding car parking areas to reinforce the facade of thecity.Huigpark• The careful transplanting of recently planted treesopens up the park to the water’s edge and insures theopen space for generations to come.• Car parking relocated and compensated forelsewhere.• The playground and all furniture including Bikeparking is relocated and reintegrated into clearings withinthe planted areas of the park in a more coherent way.Blekerspark• Car parking is relocated or integrated to denselyplanted area• Playgrounds, furniture and paths are integrated to• Oak trees on the canal edge are cut• Trees and the cities edge of the site are preservedand reinforced• A connection to canton the cemetery• Where possible open areas of park are created atthe water’s edge.• The poplar trees at the water’s edge within the factorygrounds are sculpted.• The dam which currently obstructs circulation on thecanal is removed and replaced by a bridge.• The grounds of the power station are densely plantedincluding car parking areas to reinforce the facade of thecity.Zijilpoort Cemetery• Creation of a pathway at the water’s edge whichcircumvents the cemetery• Selective cutting of the existing trees opens up thewater’s edgeHarbour• Creation of a flexible connection between the Zijlpoortand the Ankerpark which maintains and signals access tothe harbour area.Ankerpark• A pathway situated on the crest of the slope profitsviews out across the canal.• The east and west facing slopes are redefinedcreating an urban landscape beach.• The double alignment of horse chestnut trees isremoved opening up the water’s edge• Selective pruning and replanting of the existing treesat the citys edge redefines a wooded boundary• The car park areas within the city limit are planted toreinforce the dense urban fabric.Meelfabriek• The development of this site creates a continuousaccess at the waters edge• The site permits a certain permeability of pedestriancirculation• The planting of the courtyards allows for a continuityof the park experience through the siteKatoenpark• The double alignment of horse chestnut trees is cutdown opening up the waters edge• Additional trees are planted within the playgroundproviding shade and shelter• The car park areas within the city limit are planted toreinforce the dense urban fabricGroenesteeg Cemetery• The quite and overgrown cemetery ambience ispreserved• No additional connections are made• The canal edge is liberated by selective cutting oftrees.• The trees within the cemetery are preservedKaarsenmakersplein• Connecting bridge created across the Nieuwe Rijn• The Levendaal road crossroad area is incorporatedinto the singelpark by the planting of this large roadwayintersection• The Plantage gardens are preserved and enhancedPlantsoen Park• The successful park atmosphere here is preservedand enhanced• Pathways are redefined woodland edge• Shrubs and low level planting are cleared to open upthe park• Additional planting reinforces the inner facade of thecityJan Van Houtkade and Boisotkade• Car parking is reduced• The roadway intersection at the Doezastraat crossinghas been incorporated into the park• The private gardens are preserved and encouraged• The hedges at the inner bank are cut to liberate thesouth facing lawn sloping to the water’s edge• The trees are selectively cut and pruned to open upthis part of the public parkLeiden Observatory and the Hortus Botanicus• The public park connection is continued throughadjacent to the potential development site to theBinnenvestgracht• AnentrancetotheBotanicgardenandtheobservatoryand café is created here• The banks of the observatory site and the botanicgarden are selectively pruned to open up the waters edge• The trees in front of the greenhouses of the hortusbotanicus are selectively cut giving visual access to thebuilding and inviting to also creating visiblity of this buildingfrom the opposite bankQuayside of the Lipsius building• The quay is liberated and integrated to the singelparkchain of open spacesArsenaalplein• The mineral aspect of the public square and theupper and lower quay spatial organisation is retained• The flexible and sports uses of this open publicsquare on the waterfront are maintained• Furniture and play equipment is reorganised tomaximise the use of the space• The trees at the canals edge are cut to open up thespace, the trees at the city edge are retainedRembrandtpark and Park de Put• The boat rental is enhanced and the multiplicationof rental sites for the boats may be considered in order tomultiply this transport mode• Selective cutting of trees within the park is consideredto open up views• Management of the park is improvedSingelpark future vegetation structure1535 Total number of trees910 Trees to be planted or transplanted48ha hectares of continuous parkcreate emptinesspromenade - canal - park6 km of continuous pedestrian accessreinforce the facaderichness of each part (sub area)Existing vegetation structure1050 Total number of existing trees425 Trees selected to be cut625 Trees selected to be preserved