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Zuiderzeezicht

new views from the former Zuiderzeedijk

Client

  • provincie Overijssel

Location

  • Zwartsluis

Surface

  • 100m2

Year of design

  • 2012 - 2012

Year of fulfilment

  • 2014 - 2014

Implementation costs

  • € 50.000

Activities MTD

  • location research, design, construction supervision

new views from the former Zuiderzeedijk

The province of Overijssel has the ambition to transform the N331 between Zwartsluis and Barsbeek into a main access road. During this transformation the accompanying bike path will be moved from the top to the inside and the toe of the Zwartemeerdijk. In doing so the wide views, which in the current situation are an important quality of the bike path, will largely be lost. The province of Overijssel wants to offset the loss of the open views along the bike path by introducing a resting place, where these qualities can be experienced. A resting place which is focused on the perception of the identity of the area as former coastal region and former seawall of the Zuiderzee, an important meadow bird area and a region of fishermen and merchants.
In this light in 2012 MTD landscape architects received the commission to draw up a location and feasibility study and design for the resting place along the N331 from the province of Overijssel.

For the location for the resting place a high spot was sought on an outside bend on top of the Zwartemeerdijk where the water of the Zwolsche Diep and Zwarte Meer is relatively close by and the vastness of the views is maximized. Ultimately the node at the Toll House was chosen as the location. Here the Oppen Swolle moves from a route down along the dike to a route on the crest of the dike. Other striking qualities of the location include the Toll House which is positioned high on the embankment and the proximity of the Bird Island and the pond in the outer fields.

The resting place is designed as a robust stone staircase set in the Zwartemeerdijk, recognizable from the N331 so that motorists and cyclists are invited to visit. In addition, a Corten steel fence is placed along the road to the Toll House where one can fix his bike. In the steps of the stairs the words of a poem written by Hellen Bosma, Poetess of Overijssel (2013-2015) are engraved. As you climb the stairs you read the poem word for word: ‘KIJK, BIJ ELKE TREDE DAALT HET LAND EN STIJGT HET LICHT’ ("LOOK, WITH EVERY STEP THE LAND DESCENDS AND THE LIGHT RISES’ )
On top the dike the actual resting place can be found; a robust, stone plate, which extends over the crest of the dike. The plate is folded on one side into a bench and features large engraved letters on the back, reading the name of the resting place: ZUIDERZEEZICHT. In the plate two historic map images are also engraved; the first depicts the area around 1900, when the Zuiderzee still had an open connection to the North Sea, and the second from around 2000, when the last opening in the embankment of the Noordoostpolder was closed up. Then there is the current view of the outer fields, the pond and Bird Island. They all emphasize the dynamics and historical development of the landscape.
As for materialization and detailing, the resting place blends in with the present landscape. To achieve this, tough and pure materials and details like stone and Corten steel with a clear reference to the water and shipping have been chosen.