Havenplein Zierikzee

Bureau B+B stedebouw en landschapsarchitectuur: Located in the vast open landscape of Zeeland and the Oosterschelde is the compact city centre of Zierikzee. The spatial contrast between ‘inside and outside the old fortifications’ is very characteristic. The nautical character of Zierikzee is still conspicuous in the centre and the relationship with water is strong, partly due to the visible ebb and flow of the tides. The small city owes its monumental, richly decorated houses to a history of sea trade. Where fishing villages can sometimes be sober in their expression, Zierikzee seems to possess a rich culture of beautification. These spatial qualities invite exploration and discovery of the city and its streets. In the summer there are many day-trippers, the tourist season is getting longer and the hospitality industry ever more important. For this reason, the Municipality of Schouwen Duiveland decided to improve the quality of public space within the centre. Bureau B+B has been asked to draw up a vision for the whole centre and to renovate one of the few remaining open spaces, the Havenplein.

The connection between the inner city and Oosterschelde is formed by the linked spaces of the Havenplein, Havenpark and The Oude Haven; together they originally formed one harbour basin. They continue to forge a loose spatial unity. This unity is apparent but is enhanced through the design. To strengthen this unity the perimeters of the Oude Haven, the plein and the park are lined with the same mix of brick. This mix has a rich diversity of nuanced brick colours which were especially designed for Zierikzee. The overlap of the three spaces are spatially and functionally connected so that the views between each space remain free of obstruction. By doing so, it will soon be possible to walk easily across the square and through the park to the old port.

The Havenplein is a space that both within and around hosts many different functions. Among other things shops, outdoor cafés, the weekly market and the horse market. A space that is very varied in use. By transforming the car park to an open flexible space, the user value of the square has been raised considerably. There is now space for terraces. The richness of the decorated facades is emphasized by the subtle and restrained use of materials within the project. The private pavements associated with each individual facade, once lost, have been reintroduced. Old cobblestones from elsewhere in the city have been reused in the square. The square has become more easily negotiable through this new cut surface. A pronounced decorative paving pattern with a design language inspired by the progress of the channels of the Oosterschelde, enriches the plaza floor. Street furniture is also enriched with the use of filigree techniques that can be found in traditional Zeeuwse buttons or broaches.

Name: Havenplein Zierikzee
Location: Zierikzee, The Netherlands
Landscape: Bureau B+B stedebouw en landschapsarchitectuur
Design: 2011
Completion: 2012
Photography: Frank Hanswijk
Client: Municipality Zierikzee
Cost: 1.210.000€
Area: 7.280 m2


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