A Sense of Modesty

Room for the River IJsseldelta is a large-scale infrastructure project with a real impact on the geography of the Netherlands. To improve the high water drainage of the IJssel river, Reevediep has been created, for which 20 kilometres of dykes and 350-hectare delta nature have been developed. With a special series of modest works of art, NEXT gives identity to the changing landscape. The combination of flood protection, together with spatial quality and functionality, contributes to the nature experience and creates added value for future generations.
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Michel Schreinemachers, Marijn Schenk and Bart Reuser, with Jurriaan Hillerström, Wiebe Strick, Boris Gohin, Javier Ruiz Ilundain, Giulia Di Dio Balsamo with Pieter Schengenga, Jaap van der Salm, Inge Kersten, (H+N+S landschapsarchitecten), Arjan Vergeer, and Bart Feenstra

H+N+S Landscapsarchitecten

Hans van der Meer, Hakvoort

Exploring Water Safety

Room for the River IJsseldelta is the latest project within the Room for the River programme. Rijkswaterstaat’s national program offers a solution for the rising water level in the Dutch rivers, in collaboration with provinces and municipalities. It is the conclusion of the program that symbolizes a new way of thinking about our flood risk management task: no higher dykes, but rather develop the areas around the rivers to keep the water within limits. NEXT architects was involved in two of the 30 Room for the Rivers programmes: Room for the River Waal in Nijmegen, with the Zalige bridge as its icon, and Room for the River IJsseldelta.

Connecting Form and Function

By focusing on the strong identity of both landscape and artworks, a special series of artworks has been created: the Nieuwendijk Bridge, the Recreational Lock, the Inlaatwerk, the Reevesluis complex, and the Vispassage. The works of art are contemporary and modest in form and material. The sober design results in the use of fewer materials and at the same time ensures a powerful experience of the landscape. The series has become part of the landscape, in a way that the function and operation within the hydraulic system can be understood immediately.

All artworks have one clear architectural signature for coherence and unity within the Reevediep. With new cycling and walking paths and a canal for recreational boating, the Reevediep is now an attractive and accessible nature reserve with room for further development for the city of Kampen. The essence of the Room for the River IJsseldelta project has become a reality: successfully combining flood risk management with area development.

Creating Operational Artworks

The various structures fulfil various functions within the water system. The Nieuwendijk Bridge spans the entire Reevediep and connects Kampen and Kamperveen. The Inlaatwerk ensures the inflow of high water into the bypass, the Recreatieschutsluis forms the entrance to the recreational boating area, and the Vispassage provides a permanent connection for fish migration between the IJssel and the Reevediep. The Reevesluis Complex is currently being realised, with a lock and discharge sluice as the primary flood defence system between the IJsselmeer and the Randmeren. This final part is expected to be completed in 2023.

In Room for the River IJsseldelta, governement, constructors, engineers, architects, and ecologists come together. The starting point of the Spatial Quality Plan is the perception of the water and the new delta landscape around the Reevediep. NEXT is part of the Spatial Quality team, which is directed by H+N+S Landscape Architects.

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