HOSPER has been working on the Park of Luna for the past ten years, from the masterplan phase up until implementation. In collaboration with the municipality, Neelen and Schuurmans and DRFTWD this resulted in the development of an attractive recreational area with several activities and a naturally purified swimming lake as it’s central element. The Park of Luna has been nominated for the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize 2010 and is, as part of the project ‘City of the Sun’, selected for the European Urban and Regional Planning Achievement Awards ‘Special Merit Award’ 2010

Recreational area Heerhugowaard

Over the course of the years the traditional agrarian polder landscape south of Heerhugowaard has changed into a modern city landscape in which homes, recreation and nature development are closely interwoven. The HAL (Heerhugowaard-Alkmaar-Langedijk) structural concept served as the basis for the spatial concept for the Heerhugowaard-Zuid location. The Stad van de Zon (the City of the Sun) is located in the middle of the plan area, a neighborhood with 1,600 homes designed by KuiperCompagnons, is a carré and new and autonomous element.

Unique water storage and conservation

The Stad van de Zon is completely surrounded by a ‘ring of open water’, which encompasses more than 70 hectares of new water. This ‘ring of open water’ will separate the residential area from the surrounding recreational areas and guarantee that a ‘large amount of open space’ can be experienced in the plan area. Most use of the water will be made on the banks in the recreational area. The recreational area has two sides: the inner side is oriented towards the open water and the Stad van de Zon, the outer side towards the surrounding landscape. The ambitious water system is unique: it is designed to store a great deal of water and conserve water in the summer. A great deal of attention was devoted to the water quality, accessibility, and the ability to experience the system. To this end a number of structures were designed which include a circulation pumping station, a natural purification plant, a dephosphatising pond, a bridge, and a canoe crossing.

Structures enable passersby to experience the water purification

The structures were designed to ensure that passersby could experience the water to the maximum possible extent. Pursuant to this objective the public can access the roof of the pumping station. This offers a view of the lake. In addition, the pumping station is located in a strategic position close to the entrance to the beach. The inlet of the water purification plant has been raised above water level where it is both visible and audible. In adopting this approach the structures have become part of the large ‘water purification machine’, form prominent features in the landscape, and serve as locations where the process can be experienced.

Subareas in the recreational area

The recreational area is comprised of subareas which each have an individual character: the Druiplanden, Huygendijk wood and Subplan 4. The Druiplanden, with an urban character, offers space for a pop podium with catering establishments and intensive bank recreation (sand beach, sunbathing areas, car parking, a day camp site with waterski). Subplan 4 forms the transition between the urban region of Heerhugowaard-South and the recreational area. The subplan offers ‘outdoor’ living in surroundings with many trees. Spacious recreational routes cross the area and link the recreational area to the urban region of Heerhugowaard-South. The Huygendijk wood has a sheltered character and offers space for walking, cycling, jogging and roller-skating, etc. The decor for these activities is comprised of forested areas, open (sunbathing) grassland and nature banks. Some of the soil excavated for the water has been brought to the Huygendijk wood. This soil has been used, in collaboration with the artists of DRFTWD Office associates, to create a variety of locations in the relatively small area that offer a range of experiences.

Landscape architecture, Subplan 3/4 – HOSPER landscape architects and urban design
Park of Luna flow labyrinth and Huygendijk woods – DRFTWD Office associates and HOSPER
Masterplan ‘City of the Sun’, Subplan 1/2: KuiperCompagnons
Location: Heerhugowaard-South, The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Heerhugowaard and HAL-board
Project management: projectbureau ‘City of het Sun’
Consultants/Team: watersystem, planting and nature – Neelen en Schuurmans, IWACO / artists public space – Alon Levin, Jurgen Bey / architects buildings in Park of Luna: Sander Douma Architecten, Schulze en van Dijk, Superflex / architects Subplan 1/2 – Boperai Associates, Jim Lubach architects, Roy Gelders Architects, A+I Architects, INBO, Van den Oever, Zaaijer and Partners, Atelier Dutch, Bear Architects, BBHD Architecten, 19 het atelier architecten and John van Dijk, Architectenburo Hans Wagner, Taneja Hartsuyker architecten and Den Heijer Architecten / architects Subplan 3/4 – v-eld, Venhoeven CS, INBO, Atelier Pro, Arjan Karssen BNO
Area: 170 ha
Completion date: 2003-2008
Text: Hosper
Photographer: Pieter Kers, Amsterdam / Aerophoto Schiphol BV / Jan Tuijp

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