Together with the adjoining ’t Hof, a former seventeenth-century country house, the Oranjepark, which dates from the 1937, is Vlaardingen’s main park.
Unfortunately, the park was rather run-down. Located in a peat polder, it had also been gradually sagging, dropping ever closer to the water-table. The park was, so to speak, drowning.
The Hogelaan, an old tree-lined dyke that both separates and unites the two parks begins again at the Hoflaan, as it used to.
North of the Hogelaan is the Oranjepark, a true park, with tightly curved ponds, meandering paths and spacious lawns alternating with solid clumps of shrubbery and stands of trees.
’t Hof, south of the Hogelaan, was designed as a Renaissance garden with characteristic squares. Redesigned a number of times, by 1900 the park was turned into a garden in the ‘Gardenesque’ style, with small, winding paths and many different trees and shrubs.
The Oranjepark has three large ponds which fan from the park’s heart in three directions, ending in a large basin. The ponds were connected to make the water flow and more appealing. And they were expanded so surface water runs off faster and the park’s soil becomes drier.
The shrubbery, which separates and creates spaces, no longer follows the borders but enters into a playful dialogue with the pattern of the paths and the shape of the ponds.
The paths have been given more flowing shapes, removing as many T-junctions as possible. This gives a stroll through the park more continuity and movement. All the paths are paved with smooth black asphalt to make them comfortable for all sorts of users. In ’t Hof, the paths have been kept gravelled, in keeping with the ‘Gardenesque’ atmosphere of this park.
The design had a twofold aim: to restore the existing park and to put in place new structures that make it fit for the future. The result is a truly transformed park, where old and new are fused into a different whole.
Municipality of Vlaardingen
In collaboration with
Peter Sas Architecten
Jacqueline van der Kloet
Emilio Troncoso Larrain