Location: Nijmegen, Holland, Status: Landscaping complete, Scale: 25,000 residential units
“Baca Architects were the sole UK practice asked to join the international list of Architects to draw up proposals for a peninsula that will be created as part of an extensive dyke relocation programme to make ‘Room for the River’”
Construction began in 2013 on a €365 million flood relief channel between Nijmegen and Lent in the Netherlands at the threshold with Germany and is now home to new residents enjoying the floodable neighbourhood. The holistic project includes a major dyke relocation and a new 1km-long flood relief channel as part of the national ‘Room for the River’ programme to reduce flood-risk and support urban growth in Lent. It involves the creation of 3 new bridges and 25,000 new homes.
An integrated approach
Eiland Veur Lent is designed to be an exemplar, integrated solution and showcase for international architectural and technical innovation. Our proposal combines an integrated architectural, landscape, and eco-engineering approach with the flagship ‘Room for the River’ project, to create a unique synergy between man and his environment.
The proposals create a new island “retreat” on the banks of the River Waal and will form a unique river leisure destination for the Netherlands. The design will combine riverside leisure, river ecology, flood resilient development and sustainable infrastructure to create a self-sufficient ‘eco-leisure’ destination. The intention of the design is to maximize investment returns both in terms of economic and qualitative benefit. New features have been designed to weave harmoniously with the natural setting.
This major engineering project has been the catalyst to provide new homes, transport improvements and landscaping, to the benefit of the city, wider region and the local environment. Through considering the potential wider benefits from the outset of the project, the engineering solution has been adapted to provide a more integrated solution, rather than a solely cost driven solution. This shows that managing increased flood risk can simultaneously help to reduce pressure for development and provide environmental benefits.
Four core concepts directed the design; provision of riverside leisure for local residents, architectural innovation as an exemplar destination for The Netherlands, environment and ecology richness and a zero carbon development and sustainable community. As an activity rich destination both on land and on water the proposal provides the opportunity to ‘touch ‘ the water.
The site is very much informed by the river dynamics with new buildings showcasing international architectural talent and innovation. The new leisure accommodation will harness natural resources to create a fossil fuel free development and will ensure clear cradle-to-cradle use of materials through the life of the project.
The island is divided into a series of outdoor rooms, each offering a slightly different experience of the ‘Retreat’. To the north of the main river, low-lying land is to be excavated to make room for seasonal flooding, creating a new protected water arena and series of outdoor ‘water rooms’. Landscape characteristics will include river dunes, embankments, dykes, riparian habitat and marginal river stands.
The scheme is designed to respect the heritage of the area, whilst pioneering new methods of flood-mitigation in an environmentally sensitive way. The development on the island has been planned with self-sufficiency in mind, incorporating solar PVs, heat exchange, rainwater harvesting and reed beds. The dynamic exchange of land and water is celebrated and enhanced through a landscape that touches and engages with the waters edge and flood resilient buildings that can showcase modern methods to cope with flooding.
- Future Project Awards 2014 - Winner in 'Regeneration and Masterplanning'