There and back again

by Stijlgroep on 26/11/2010

What designer doesn’t dream of working on a project to which they have a powerful emotional attachment? A project that makes a big impact on a place where you live or were born. A place familiar to all your friends, and that can now bring your professional skills to bear.
The Zwin Nature Reserve design competition has at last made this dream come true for me. Knokke-Heist is the town where I was born, the place where I lived and grew up for twenty years and where my family still lives. From my base in Rotterdam, I am now being given the opportunity to work, as a landscape architect, on the Zwin Nature Reserve’s ambitious plan.


Discovering a whole new layer

In a team of architects, town planners, landscape architects, structural engineers and exhibition designers, we are taking a holistic approach to this task. After all, the competition isn’t just about architecture; it’s also about the overall approach to the Zwin area as a tourist and educational attraction, an approach which is heavily influenced by the environment and the typical landscape of the Zwin region. How do you link leisure routes to the Zwin Nature Reserve? How do you make the landscape readable to the visitor? How do you allow them to experience something in a way that inspires them? We will be addressing all of these questions over the coming months. As a professional, these questions make me look very differently at the region where I was born. It’s like discovering a whole new layer: a layer that makes you understand even better why Knokke-Heist looks the way it does, the way I have always known it. For that reason alone, I recommend that every designer should work in his or her home region.


The approach

Our approach to this project is interesting. It isn’t a case of the architect designing the building, for us to then draw the landscape: as part of a design team, everyone gets the opportunity to shape how the building and the area will look. Together, we will arrive at a solution, a design, because each one of us is looking at the project from a different angle. As well as ensuring that the whole team is behind the design, we hope that this approach will also result in a good project that is well thought-out and fits together in a logical way. We want to produce a design that everybody understands and that draws people from all over Belgium and beyond.

There are a total of five design teams, who will each be presenting their vision for the Zwin. The deadline for the project is 24 January 2011. Our team comprises KCAP, LAM architects, NorthernLight, Bouwadviesbureau, moBius consult, NEXT real estate and of course Stijlgroep landscape and urban design.

We’ll keep you updated.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar MJ Viaene December 3, 2010 at 07:51

Ik ben in ieder geval Fan van jullie , omdat ik al mooie projecten heb gezien dat jullie hebben verwezenlijkt ! Succes !
MJ Viaene

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avatar Evi December 3, 2010 at 22:07

Succes met dit project Christophe!

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