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Tuin van Delft

BOOM Landscape designed the Tuin van Delft: a green oasis next to the high-traffic square of Delft’s train station. The garden is a new zone of biodiversity on the pedestrian route between the station and city centre.

Everyone welcome

The “Garden of Delft” is open to everyone, from local residents to passers-by. As a central space in the city, it is intended for everyone to feel at home – including animals and insects. It’s a place to meet up with friends or colleagues, whether on a comfortable bench or at a café on the perimeter of the garden. It’s a place to sit in the sun after you’ve just missed the train or to sit in the shade of a tree to read a good book.

Green “living room” and a short cut to the station

The square sits on top of a railway tunnel. It is for the exclusive use of pedestrians, which the 15-centimetre rise of the paving stones makes clear. Once you step into the zone it feels like a large public “living room”, thanks to all the places to sit. The long brick benches also form the borders for all the trees and plants. There is a clear passage through the garden to the entrance of the train station, which serves as a pleasant green short cut. At dusk the lights come on and spotlights light up the trees against the evening sky. Just like at home, this living room is cosy after sundown.

The DNA of Delft

The square is surrounded by the DNA of Delft – its charismatic history and its technological future. And the design of the new garden-square takes this into account. From the garden you can see the intriguing façade of the Huis van Delft, a modern mixed-use complex with the contours of historical canal houses delineated in its front. The garden’s design also guides your gaze towards the imposing Innovation Gallery behind the glazed façade: where the latest innovations coming out of Delft are on show.

 

Ode to craftsmanship

The landscape design pays homage to craftsmanship. The benches are made of richly detailed brickwork and the entire square is “carpeted” in old and new bricks, all left-overs from other parts of the city. Together with new yellow bricks (IJsselstenen) that outline an array of squares and rectangles, they create a patchwork paving pattern. We drew our inspiration from the historic city centre where the old pavements have been expertly paved in unusual and beautiful patterns. The brickwork patches of all different sizes seem to form an artisanal carpet, lending the square quite a special ambiance. In addition, of course, reusing discarded bricks is good circular design.

Good for people and animals

The vegetation planted here contributes to a better environment all around. The large variety of flowers, plants and trees makes it feel lush and the diversity is good for both people and animals. Every living thing benefits when there are less fine dust particles and less nitrogen in the air and more capacity for CO2 absorption. The Garden of Delft will attract birds, bees and butterflies, and so it is also good for local biodiversity.

Environmentally friendly water management

Finally, all the rainwater that falls on the square will be recycled. A very subtle drainage system has been integrated in the form of linear channels that direct water to be stored under the plant beds. Between plant beds and the tunnel roof, there is a layer of clay and on top of this a layer of gravel. This is a very natural way to hold water and where roots can easily access it.

Design team: Philomene van der Vliet, Jan Maas, Elena Dobretsova, Gerlinda Floor, Max Daalhuizen, Jonathan Ward, María Eugui, Francien van Kempen (civil engineering) and Jaqueline van de Kloet (planting scheme).
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