strategy Vecht area [NL]

The Eo Wijers-foundation launched a competition for the special area along the Vecht River from Amsterdam to Utrecht. The competition brief stated this area was in need of a coherent and, above all, practical overall strategy. Delta Vorm Groep initiated the entry to this competition by gathering a multi disciplinary team. Maasland Architects was added to the team for all sustainability aspects. The sustainability research focused on the great challenges of the water systems and on energy neutral building.

The agricultural areas in the Vecht area are getting wetter and wetter, mostly because of the descending soil level (caused by pumping out the water). The current form of agriculture is therefore unsustainable. By gradually transforming the agriculture into the cultivation of pilot whale (a willow sort) we can mix landscape qualities, local economy, energy, agriculture and living together into a symbiotic form. The water level can  fluctuate more, which means an increased buffer capacity and puts a stop to descending soil levels. The pilot whale itself can be used as biomass, providing CO2 neutral energy. The farmers can stay in the Vecht area, despite the rising water level. And the beautiful landscape is preserved. Everyone benefits.

The professional jury selected our project, together with one other project, to be further developed together with the local authorities. The jury rapport:

“The line of reasoning from the analysis on the Green Heart Level to the development of the ideas is consistent. By developing clear schematic visualizations of the landscape qualities the contestant gets a firm grip on the task. By adding the sustainability challenge, the urgency to implement the project was found. By using biomass for energy production as a new economic structure to keep the area green,  the plan becomes richer than simply a red-to-green concept. […]”

After this first phase of the competition we continued working on further developing the project with the local authorities. The qualities of the landscape, the ecological connections and the spatial and economical qualities have been further developed.

designteam: ASR Vastgoed, BroosdeBruijn architecten, Bureau Buiten, DeltaVormGroep, Maasland Architects