|It doesn’t freeze in Friesland as it used to. As a local result of changes in global climate the weather not only has become warmer, but especially more extreme. Superfluous water from the polders is pumped into the boezem or drainage area, a network of waterways that surround and connect the lower parts of Friesland. In drier periods water from this buffer zone can be sluiced back into the polder for agricultural use. In the last hundred years this drainage area has shrunk from over 385 square miles to less than 60. Friesland is dedicated to reversing this trend.|
|The proposal is inspired by the Elfstedentocht, the 125 mile skating
course that from 1909 onwards has been organized 15 times when ice
permitted it, the last time being 1997. All eleven towns of Friesland
are on the route.
The main thrust of the proposal is to expand and widen the skating course wherever possible. To function as a buffer, a lake or any other body of water can be very shallow, as it is only the surface area that counts. Land that is removed to give water more space, can be used to fill in deeper parts nearby, allowing a better chance of freezing over.
A wider and more shallow skating course in itself is a great improvement, both for drainage and for skating. Further proposals concentrate on the crossings from one polder water level to another. Coupled to the Elfstedentocht course eleven projects have been proposed to expand the drainage area, while simultaneously stimulating purification of nutritious water and recreational activities as fishing or sailing.
Turning land into water (a very unnatural activity for the Dutch) comes at a price, which is a total loss of real estate value, to be precise. There is, however, an attractive way to recoup this loss. When well-designed the shoreline along the extended drainage area can be more than doubled, multiplying the added value of the land that borders on the water. Careful expansion of residential and recreational land use goes hand in hand with reestablishing an original balance in local water management.
2nd International Architecture
Province of Friesland