Bird's-eye view: view from the southeast towards the Park Emmen
Bird's-eye view: view from the southeast towards the Park Emmen

Park Emmen

Emmen, Drenthe, The Netherlands

Design proposal for the former Noorder Zoo

Unique heritage


more...

Her spatial legacy is just as special as the Noorder Dierenpark was. Perhaps even more special. Because where in the world can you visit a park that was shaped by its former use as an zoo? Where landscape geometry, relief and planting have their origins in the imagination of continents and climate zones and the separation of people and animals. A kaleidoscopic collection of landscape dioramas where you constantly wonder what species of animals have inhabited them. A heterotopy that tells something about our worldview and our relationship with nature. A spatial legacy that is loaded with stories and memories. But it also offers new reasons for sports and games, for adventure and culture, for inspiration and contemplation. Where you can stroll on the Savannah, listen to a concert from a monkey rock and learn to dive in a former shark enclosure.

New paths

A new system of cycle paths, footpaths and walking paths is being constructed. These wind in a similar way as in the zoo, so that the space appears larger than it actually is. Part of these paths is wider and intended for both cyclists and pedestrians. Another part is narrower and only intended for pedestrians. This new path structure takes up less space and not only runs between the former animal islands, but also opens it up. This creates an interesting, poetic reversal: on the islands that were intended for animals, and which give rise to many new activities, people will concentrate. Nature (flora and fauna) is given free space between these "human islands" and the paths that connect them. These areas will be extensively maintained, giving biodiversity a boost.

Building with landscape

The most valuable part of the spatial legacy of the Noorder Zoo is formed by landscape elements. However, the development of the animal park has a more universal character, is less suitable for homes or accommodation and does not perform well energetically. In the short term, this development can be used for temporary functions, but in the longer term, new construction is sought, particularly at the edges of the park.

The starting point is that this new building reinforces the landscape character of the park and does not compete with it. We propose to merge buildings and landscape without compromise (synthesis). To this end, the park landscape with maximum dimensions is 'raised' on the edges in a sloping manner, creating space for buildings. The facades of this new building that are oriented towards the park are placed at an angle (or stepped) and provided with a living layer and an overgrowth of grasses and herbs that also occur elsewhere in the park. The horizon is shifted, as it were, making the park visually larger. The new construction therefore does not affect the space of the park but enlarges it and, on the contrary, adds landscape and ecological value. This approach whereby the "people quarters" are included in the landscape is in line with the way in which many of the former animal quarters in the park are an integral part of the environment.

Unity in multiplicity

The proposed spatial vision in which buildings and landscape merge provides a clear direction for development and offers guidance in concrete implementation and elaboration. But it also offers a lot of flexibility. The functional interpretation of the new building can be diverse, while nevertheless creating a spatial and landscape coherent image. New buildings for cultural and educational functions can be realized on the Marktplein side, behind the three historic park villas. The other building edges of the park can mainly be used for various accommodation types. One can think of homes for the people of Emmen (young and old). These can be apartments for seniors who want to fully enjoy nature and the liveliness in the park and perhaps also want to actively contribute to maintenance. But also homes for young families, because how wonderful it must be to grow up on the edge of this park that is a large nature playground for children. It is also conceivable that a part is intended as an overnight accommodation for tourists. A visit to Wildlands with one or more overnight stays in the former animal park becomes completely unique!

Green through red

In the current proposal, more than 40,000 m2 of use area is available. The size of the footprint of the buildings is comparable to that of the current buildings. This also creates a solid economic basis for the design, maintenance and programming of the park. In addition, the residents and other users of this building offer permanent social security to the park. The proposed new building consists of clearly distinguishable elements and can easily be phased. In the meantime, the current buildings can serve as accommodation for various functions.
Concept
Concept
Overview design proposal: isometric projection, view from the northwest towards the park
Overview design proposal: isometric projection, view from the northwest towards the park
Routing and connection: different types of connections: access roads, cycle paths, hiking and walking paths
Routing and connection: different types of connections: access roads, cycle paths, hiking and walking paths
The entrance to Park Emmen: landscape transition from square to Park Emmen
The entrance to Park Emmen: landscape transition from square to Park Emmen
Activities and public functions: diversity of programming and activities in Park Emmen
Activities and public functions: diversity of programming and activities in Park Emmen
The use of Park Emmen during the day
The use of Park Emmen during the day
The Savannah as a recreational meadow: view of the former African Savannah with the new path structure and the pavilion
The Savannah as a recreational meadow: view of the former African Savannah with the new path structure and the pavilion
The development of Park Emmen: adding landscape development and enlarging the park
The development of Park Emmen: adding landscape development and enlarging the park
Concept elaboration interior of a home
Concept elaboration interior of a home
Landscape living in Park Emmen: view of the park from the terraces
Landscape living in Park Emmen: view of the park from the terraces
Flora and fauna: space for area-specific nature, foraging area for migratory and meadow birds
Flora and fauna: space for area-specific nature, foraging area for migratory and meadow birds
Play and sports island: view to the former elephant enclosure with the Grote Kerk and the center of Emmen on the horizon
Play and sports island: view to the former elephant enclosure with the Grote Kerk and the center of Emmen on the horizon
Sustainability principles for landscape development on the edges of Park Emmen
Sustainability principles for landscape development on the edges of Park Emmen
Current situation the Noorder Zoo
Current situation the Noorder Zoo
year
2017

team
ir. Marco Vermeulen, ir. Bram Willemse, ir. Joost van der Waal, Chiel Lansink

in cooperation with
Urban Xchange

programme
Park, housing, culture and innovation cluster

status
Design research

client
Gemeente Emmen

website
gemeente.emmen.nl


next project:
House on the river Maas
related news