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Maaspoints: Water Woods

Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, and Michel Schreinemachers with Jorn Kooijstra
Van Oord – Marine Ingenuity
Landmark / viewing point
Rotterdam / NL
H+N+S Landscape Architects
150 m2

On the southwestern tip of the Brienenoord Island, NEXT and H+N+S designed a unique place to experience the relationship between river and city, between people and nature. The island offers views on both the city skyline and the iconic Brienenoord bridge, where ships pass by daily and nature flourishes. Here, ‘Water Woud’ (Water Woods) is designed as a forest of steel pipes that forms a viewpoint over the Maas River. A poetic, mysterious structure, referring to both the harbour and Van Oord’s activities, but also to the wooded Van Brienenoord island.

The Maas is Rotterdam's most important urban space. It connects the city with the port, the sea, Europe and the rest of the World. It forms a connection between North and South, and it divides the city districts. The river and its waterfront hold so much potential as an attractive public space, a place for people to enjoy. Its natural value can greatly improve by changing hard edges like quays into soft natural embankments and by doing so introducing tidal parks along the Maas. To encourage this change, the Rotterdam-based, international offshore contractor company Van Oord presents to the city a gift to honors the river as the city’s lifeline and invites people to get in touch with the river and appreciate its many qualities.

Water Woods functions as a double look-out. On one side you can climb up to watch the vessels pass by and enjoy the panoramic view. On the other side you descend into the wondrous world of specific water flora and fauna. Here you experience the tidal flows and discover unique delta species, like the characteristic spin-dotter flower and sweet water mussels, that use the structure as habitat. Up in the pipes, birds and bats nest and breed.

Water Woods was officially presented in November 2018 and given to the deputy mayor Bert Wijbenga as a present to all the citizens of Rotterdam to celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Van Oord. The design fort his unique artwork will be realised in the course of 2019?.

The ‘Water Woods’ gift marks the beginning of a series of so called ‘Maaspoints’ where people can get in contact with the Maas, experience the tides, the power of the water, and its sounds, smells and natural values. With the ‘Water Woods’, Van Oord creates the first Maaspoint. Other Maaspoints have been identified along the river intended to be interventions like the ‘Water Woods’ – related, but each unique.


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