Blauwestad Harbour Quarters

The marina and harbour building form the new heart of the Blauwestad harbour area in the province of Groningen. The design of the area surrounding the new harbour building serves two purposes: tourist appeal and future standard of living. At present, the harbour area functions as a tourist hub. Eventually, when the planned residential area will be realized, the area will come to function as the centre of Blauwestad. The design of the public space anticipates this future dual function.

Marina and promenade

The Havenkwartier marina accommodates 130 boats, spread across five hardwood piers. The landings open up directly to the public promenade. In the future, the wide promenade which connects marina and harbour building could function as a residential street for the planned houses. The width and design of the promenade accommodate mixed use and clearly separate public and private.

Bridge and beach

The promenade runs into a 100-meter long wooden pedestrian and bicycle bridge. This broad, wooden boardwalk leads visitors to the beach just across the water in one smooth movement. The beach is designed as a semi-closed bay, and is situated in a way that offers a beautiful view across the lake and marina. The location makes the beach easily visible and accessible from the (residential) surroundings, which emphasizes the exclusive qualities of the area. At the same time, because of this location, the future residential area and the tourist use aren’t in each other’s way.

Outside area of harbour building: design

The harbour building, located against the promenade, is the central point of the harbour area. The facilities inside the building (sanitary, harbour office, nautical shop and catering) service both the harbour and the beach. The outside area of the harbour building is designed as a hybrid between a garden and a dune area. The paved area directly surrounding the harbour building is designed as being one continuous and pliable terrace, of which the transition to the public space is fluid and natural. Because of this, the various tourist functions (and future public functions) inside the building have an accessible and inviting appearance. Owing to the open design, terraces can easily move along with the sun. Finally, this design brings a lot of compliability to future changes of the building’s functions.

Outside area of harbour building: planting

The planting surrounding the harbour building consists of pines in an undergrowth of grasses and flowering perennials, which refers to the landscapes of both the Wadden Sea and the dunes. This strengthens the tourist quality of the harbour area. At this time the planting creates a central oasis in the wild greenery of the nearby area. When the surrounding residential area has been realized the same planting creates a quirky, attractive piece of nature in between the houses. Together, this series of actions provide an attractive tourist area, which also offers future residents extra quality of living.

Location: Blauwestad, The Netherlands,
Client: Municipality of Oldambt, Province of Groningen
Area: 3ha
Year of design: 2011-2012
Year of implementation: 2013-2014
Designers: MD Landschapsarchitecten: Melle van Dijk, Mathijs Dijkstra, Marc de Vrij
Architect harbour building: pvanb architecten
Photograpy: Melle van Dijk


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