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The Dyke Platform as a sturdy Delta landscape extending from Rotterdam to Hook of Holland
The Dyke Platform as a sturdy Delta landscape extending from Rotterdam to Hook of Holland

The proposed Delta landscape at Tree-shaded Schiedam 1 Ramps connect the city with the river 2 Routes along the natural banks of the river 3 Natural banks with tidal influence 4 Leafy residential area on the river banks 5 Schiewijk, a new city district 6 Historic Schie restored
The proposed Delta landscape at Tree-shaded Schiedam 1 Ramps connect the city with the river 2 Routes along the natural banks of the river 3 Natural banks with tidal influence 4 Leafy residential area on the river banks 5 Schiewijk, a new city district 6 Historic Schie restored

The proposed Delta landscape at Buizengat inner harbour in Rotterdam 1 Compact Maas boulevard 2 Green banks with a recreational component 3 Buizengat bridge with a floodgate as flood defence 4 City Promenade 5 Buizengat yacht harbour 6 Nieuwe Kralingse bridge 7 Gentle ramps within the platform connect city and river
The proposed Delta landscape at Buizengat inner harbour in Rotterdam 1 Compact Maas boulevard 2 Green banks with a recreational component 3 Buizengat bridge with a floodgate as flood defence 4 City Promenade 5 Buizengat yacht harbour 6 Nieuwe Kralingse bridge 7 Gentle ramps within the platform connect city and river

Tree-shaded Schiedam, living on the topmost treads with others stepping down to the river
Tree-shaded Schiedam, living on the topmost treads with others stepping down to the river

View of the compact city from the promenade with treads interconnected by ramps
View of the compact city from the promenade with treads interconnected by ramps

Design of 'treads' – rural formula: differentiation in treads with buffering of fresh water and an agricultural component – suburban formula: living along the river banks with a recreational component – urban formula: compact city with integrated ramps
Design of 'treads' – rural formula: differentiation in treads with buffering of fresh water and an agricultural component – suburban formula: living along the river banks with a recreational component – urban formula: compact city with integrated ramps




PROJECTINDEX
 
THE DYKE PLATFORM
Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst
URBAN DESIGN

The delta landscape as a link between city and river
The primary flood defence designed as a dyke platform with a versatile urban delta landscape on the right bank of the river Maas between Rotterdam and Hook of Holland
One consequence of an open Southwestern Delta with a permanent navigable connection (Nieuwe Waterweg) with the North Sea is that the existing flood defences will need heightening. The strategy in this design consists of coupling Delta investments to strengthen the dykes with eradicating physical trouble spots in the region. The investments offer the region an opportunity to both raze existing barriers in the cities and develop dynamic waterfronts with a wealth of residential neighbourhoods, businesses, nature and recreation areas. In this study the primary flood defence is no longer regarded as an autonomous civil-engineering subject but as a stepping-off point for the future urban design challenges facing cities on the water. In hitching together urbanism, landscape architecture and safety, the right Maas bank acquires a Delta landscape with new living environments which forge a link between the cities and the river.
To achieve this means relinquishing the idea of merely raising the primary dyke. The slogan is 'From monotonous dyke to the Dyke Platform as ground plan for a varied Delta landscape'. This landscape acts as a broad, secure Delta dyke. It ties the city to the river by opting for strong physical connections and hitching these to continuous routes along, on and to the river.
The Dyke Platform consists of several levels or 'treads'. This differentiation creates variety in the types of landscape and in how these are fitted out. Some treads are lowered to give more room for the rivers in times of high water. In the interests of safety, an unbroken height line of 6.2 m +NAP and of variable width stitches the sequence of treads into a single landscape. The treads within the Dyke Platform are attuned to the geomorphology of the soil in the wider Rotterdam area. The soil's genetic material has always displayed an array of differences in height, ranging from 2.8 m up to 3.6 m +NAP, brought about by the river's natural sedimentation. Multiple treads of different height are created by mechanically raising the harbour areas and the primary flood defence to 5.4 m +NAP. By widening and thus also strengthening the flood defence structure the genetic material and mechanical heightenings are redefined and hitched together as a broad, secure Delta dyke. The differences in height between treads creates a public space consisting of woods, water meadows, parks, stone quays and gently sloping river banks. Added to this rural framework are new urban milieus with a welter of development types, densities and programmes related to the river and to the city. The areas are stitched together by routes at all scales including local and regional walking and cycling routes. Going for a drive across the Dyke Platform will be an attraction, with its succession of panoramic views of the river and its banks, the cities and the new residential surroundings. The old peat channels and waterways within the platform present a water network connecting the cities with the Maas. Floodgates, bridges and yacht harbours mark the key intersections. These sites figure prominently within the Dyke Platform and constitute the hub of the recreation network.