Noise wall transformed into a business card for Dwingelderveld
The plans for the redevelopment of the Dwingelderveld include a noise wall along the A28 along the entire length of the park. Of course, a rigid noise wall is unsightly. Which is why the board commission held a design competition among three landscape architects to create a scintillating and attractive design for the wall. Eventually, architecture bureau Parklaan Landschapsarchitecten received the commission to implement their design. Veldspraak spoke to Aleks Droog, the creator of the (winning) design.
What is the core idea behind your design?
“Whenever I drive past a noise wall, I always wonder what’s behind it. I thought the same when while driving along the A28. I saw the ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club) sign about the National Park, but didn’t see a bit of the park at all. I saw no heathland, no moor, absolutely nothing. Later on, I noticed that the Dwingelderveld also largely consists of woodland. A park consisting of woodland and heath - that's the idea that I want to bring back into the design. That’s why we split the design in two: just north of the viaduct by Spier, the wall will have be accented by forestry and just south of this it’ll be characterized by heathland. You should be able to tell from the wall what type of landscape lies beyond it. In this way, the wall becomes a sort of visitors map of the national park.”
How will the wall come to look shortly?
“It's not going to be a rigid, stick straight wall. The Dwingelderveld isn’t located along the seashore of Zeeland. No, it's going to be a somewhat meandering, slightly sloping wall matching the heath and drift sand landscape. The forest portion will also be sloping because the once planted forest is situated in a hilly area. In taking a look next to the A28, you can see all sorts of old drift hills. Soon, all sorts of trees will grow in the forest portion, a widely varied assortment. The heathland portion is going to have a truly heath-style accent. As it were, the heath runs all the way to the asphalt. In our plan, even the median will have this accent. I really believe that heath will grow there soon. Just imagine when the heath is soon in bloom. Then you have a highway through a purple landscape!”
Veldspraak heard that there’s talk of an observation tower. Is this true?
“Yes, we want to make the wall a part of a hiking route. You would be able to walk from the visitor’s center next to hotel Van der Valk to the wall, where an observation tower is built. From atop the tower, you should be able to see the heathland in its entire splendor. We’re thinking of a compact tower in the shape of an animal, e.g. a heath sheep. We still have to work out the kinks in these ideas; it could very well be the case that the wall ends up looking different. In any case, it’ll be great.”
At the Terhorsterzand, the wall and wildlife crossing intersect. How do you envision this?
“The transition from Dwingelderveld to the Terhorsterzand has to become a beautiful element in the landscape. I myself have been considering a large sort of dune drifting over the A28 with three tunnels for traffic. No sleek fuss, but rather a natural element that looks as if it has been there for centuries. Of course, there will be trees and shrubbery on the wildlife crossing, so that it isn’t a barren element. The first Drentse wildlife crossing over the A28 is going to be something very special!”