The Heerlijkheid Hoogvleit is a 5.4 Ha park in Hoogvliet on the outskirts of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
This new civic centre combines a bio-diverse landscape and new access routes to create a 'summer village' and 'hobby park' to help promote physical and mental well- being.
The landscape strategy developed with architects dS+V creates safe and playful routes through the parkland, which have been designed to address different visitors’ needs and desires for using the park and to promote a healthy enjoyment of outdoor spaces. Heerlijkheid (which roughly translates as ‘beautiful place’) combines interventions at different scales, including an arboretum, a nature park, wetland areas, an ‘ecological playground’, a small scaffold hut for teaching children how to make wattle-and-daub walls, and a large lake in the shape of a map of the Netherlands for use by birds and model boats.
The community are encouraged to make use of a series of “hobby huts” in profiled steel and plywood, the first of which provided a home for a model boat-building club. The park has been designed to enhance its natural characteristics, and to ensure the ongoing growth of the site’s ecology.
The multi-use cultural centre at the heart of the scheme provides much-needed public and enterprise facilities, including a cafe and event space for the local residents and park visitors. These were determined through close collaborative consultation with a cross-section of the town’s diverse demographics, that included neighbourhood events and sensitive observation of the ways the community used existing spaces within the town.
The resulting offices, cafe, two-screen cinema, and event-space created as a result help navigate the often conflicting community demands, and have subsequently become a central focus for the area, generating social cohesion to overcome deprivation and health inequalities in the area.
From the inside, views to the park and surrounding landscape are carefully framed by the delicate structure of the external envelope that echoes the surrounding architecture. This visual connectivity generates an ongoing dialogue between the life of the park and that of the building. The hall’s timber rainscreen cladding communicates to Hoogvliet’s industrial past, counterpointed with elements which echo the nature of the surrounding park, thereby forming a hybrid of the area’s different typologies.
Heerlijkheid Hoogvleit was designed by FAT