A work day in Utrecht at Strowis, today the students focused on analysis teams in the morning, then shifted to design teams in the afternoon. Five teams of three students each focused on generating specific changes to enhance their choice of water safety, economic development, ecological connectivity and recreation.
Nany Ferber, Nicole Ponath, Jody Rader
We were very drawn to the idea of treasures and developing programming for and around the existing amenities in the area. Our framework has a few key goals including: recreational uses, and opportunities to better connect the surrounding communities to the site. We will focus our design around programming of the old brick factory, orchard, two brick houses and the IJssel River.
Specific to this programming, we plan to include a public participation structure. Not only do we want to focus on how the space is set up, but who and how the public will interact with the space. Including this public engagement focus makes this approach unique and requires flexible and adaptive designs. Another key component to the design will be to program for a variety of age groups, integrating education and recreation.
Our challenge is to include community engagement after establishing our design plans. We plan to do so by incorporating participant feedback in gauge success of different spaces. At the moment, we are toying with ideas that are related to sculpting, impressing, molding, and memory. We aim to create a place where the visitors are able to not only engage with the site, but are encouraged to change it.
Koppenwaard – Ecology and Connections
Karen Criales, Bingqin Huang, Rachel Kerber
The site we are working on is Koppenwaard. The first goal that we are addressing is water safety by opening the space for overflow in different seasons. Our second goal uses different streams to increase habitats of birds, amphibians, fish and beavers. At the same time, we are addressing connectivity throughout the site with the use of the main channel connecting the river with the lake. We are working to create public accesses to the site. We also want to bring recreation into the site, which includes biking, walking and depending of the season kayaking.
Our site streams will be separated into two categories, green rivers and blue river, the former means seasonal flooding and most of the time they will be dry while the blue river means permanent water flow. The green river will create opportunities for new habitat. The habitat will differ based on soil types and elevations. We are working on more accurate information about habitat that we could use in the site.
Wing Dam Group
Spencer Bauer, Lindsay Hawks, Alex Hill
Our group was assembled following an interest in creating more access, habitat, and recreational opportunities along the river’s edge. Upon visiting the site it was clear the three of us wanted to challenge the structural, social, and ecological dynamics of the wing dams that line the River IJssel. We have decided to take on the task of developing a new set of wing dam (groyne) typologies that could not only be implemented on our site, but also in river systems throughout the country.
These new typologies are an adaptation of existing infrastructure that seeks to amplify the natural hydrologic and ecological function of a healthy river ecosystem to a currently channelized river. Currently, we are in the process of researching fluvial dynamics and wing dam design to fully grasp the effects they have on the landscape.
Kppenwaard – Water Safety and Temporal Recreation
Rachel Burand, Grace Larson, Shiyue Zhang
Our group is focusing on the Koppenwaard site, which is where Natuurmonumenten is considering installing a river bypass connection between the IJssel River and Lathumse Plas. Our primary goal is to provide seasonal channels/paths for recreation that are adaptable to changing water levels. To promote water safety, we will look to modifying the existing dike system using side channels and turning flood management into an amenity. In order to minimize cost of planned land acquisition, we will propose to work with farmers on site to create recreation easements rather than purchase tracks of lands. This will also allow agricultural endeavors to remain fully functional with recreation access along the perimeter.
Our next steps will be to consider water volume levels flowing through the proposed bypass, which will dictate our canal pathway system. We will consider current land ownership to determine the hierarchy of public access to the site. After completing further analytical explorations and drawings, we will narrow the focus of our design to be presented on Friday, March 21st.
Joseph Nowak, Hang Su, and A.J. Evert
The Westerwoort site is boxed between the river and the winter dike. A railroad and highway sit on either end and connect neighborhoods and industry across the River Ijssel. On site are three industrial nodes that suffer stresses from inundation of floodwater. Our group is focusing on improving accessibility to the industrial nodes during times high water. Protection from high water for those behind the winter dike is also a priority, and we aim to create a situation where high water can be celebrated and utilized through industry, recreation, and habitat.
Water safety was the driver in how we began to think of a new framework for the site. As high waters pressure the area the site has potential to enhance the current identity of this space as a mixture of neighborhoods, industry, and commercial district. Both high and low water conditions should also foster and improve habitat.