Waterworks Zoutkamp

Unlocking the locks

How should we deal with our cultural-historical flood defenses that were intended to protect against the sea, but now also have to retain water during drought and keep feet dry during increasingly heavy downpours inside the dikes? The monumental waterworks of Zoutkamp are being renovated. The conversion of the Husingo sluice including pumping station and the construction of the bicycle bridge over the Reitdiep will add a new layer to Zoutkamp. The architecture of the new elements is recognizable and contemporary, with respect for the historical and cultural value of the existing heritage.
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Bart Reuser, Marijn Schenk, Michel Schreinemachers with Jurriaan Hillerström, Vyasa Koe, Angelos Chouliaras, Mireia Martin, Marilena Fragkou, Laura Radics, Monika Popkiewicz

H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten, Bureau Polderman, Nepocon, Witteveen+Bos, Kwant, Ingenieursbureau Provincie Groningen

Exploring water management

In order to guarantee water safety in North Groningen in the future, a new pumping station with a larger capacity is being built in Zoutkamp and the quays in the village are being raised. This enormous flood risk management task, caused by climate change, has been tackled by the government as an integrated area task together with the municipality of Het Hogeland, the province of Groningen and the inhabitants of Zoutkamp. This provides a reason for improving safety and livability.

As part of this larger project, the monumental Hunsingo lock will be renovated and converted into a sash lock. A new bicycle connection will be constructed across the Reitdiep and the area in between will be redesigned to clarify the routing and improve safety. By realizing new connections, moorings, and viewing points, the two interventions are brought together. The total project offers added value on a large scale for the quality of life and recreational opportunities in Zoutkamp.

Connecting functional and monumental

The monumental waterworks of Zoutkamp tell the history of the fisherman’s village and have an important historical value. With the relocation of the Husingo lock, the Oude Zeedijk, the identity carrier of Zoutkamp, will regain its original function as a flood defense. The new waterworks form junctions and landmarks in Zoutkamp and have an important social and cultural significance; they connect past and future, water and land, resident and tourist. By adding a new layer, the existing monument is respected and the impact on the village is limited.

Creating high-quality waterworks

With the renewal of the waterworks, the quality of the landscape and the beauty of the waterworks can be experienced. The conversion of the lock, including the adjacent pumping station, continues the tradition of renovations of the waterworks. The new elements are carefully and consistently connected to the existing ones. Attractive routes, sitting edges and viewpoints are integrated into the plan.

The new movable bridge over the Reitdiep provides a safe and comfortable connection for cyclists and pedestrians. The abutments are arranged as balconies; viewpoints over the water. The bridge forms an autonomous element with recognizable shape and detailing parallel to the existing bridge. Construction, span, and field distribution are in coherence with the structure and rhythm of the Husingo sluice.

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