A unique living environment was developed in Dordrecht on the border of city and landscape, where water and land meet. The plan'TIDE', as a transition between Wantijpark and adjacent residential areas, is brought into the direct sphere of influence of the tidal landscape. The polder is being 'returned' to nature. Ebb and flow determine to a large extent the perception of the living environment. Therefore tidal movement characterizes the atmosphere of this area. Reeds, willow-like wood stands, thickets and swamp forests interspersed with large water surfaces dominate the scene. The free location of the Noordendijk and Wantijdijk emphasize the openness on the city-side compared to the green densification on the landscape-side.

By means of a system of channels and creeks, the open water zone is brought into contact with a dense green edge of the Wantij Park. The landscape context is further developed with great ecological potential such as 3.5 km of natural banks, islands and soft and hardwood zones.

Considering the desired compactness versus the large openness along the dikes, four creek ridges were created to live on. In the intervening space, water and wood stands form the link between the large open space and the dense green edge of the Wantij Park. Gradual compaction also occurs on the creek ridges themselves. From one side along the jetties via two sides on both sides of the forest roads, the buildings develop into a nuanced densification in the zone south of the park.

This remarkable landscape environment and the wide variety of spatial elements provides a wide range of housing types. Living on stilts, along scaffolding constructions, on the creek ridge and in the forest form a great wealth of atmospheres. The rich collection includes foresthomes, boathousehomes, waterhomes, clusterhomes, apartments and also homes on free lots.

The relationship between housing levels, normative high water as well as the flood defense system has led to specific design principles. Solutions vary from living on stilts, semi-sunken parking streets, and alternative construction preparation methods to a closed ground balance.

Sustainable urban planning and architecture also lead to creative solutions. From the conceptual level, through the plan elaboration, to the civil engineering level: plan 'TIDE' is an exponent of contemporary sustainable urban planning. This plan considers water as a spatial planning principle, urban nature and ecology, and furthermore includes closed soil balance.

It is the synergy between landscape architecture, urban design and architecture that determines the final result.

Location: Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Client: De Koning Wessels
Partners: Klunder architecten
Date: 2001 - 2009
Category: Strategy, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Public Space