Belvedères Drentsche Aa

The river basin of the Drentsche Aa, in the northeast of The Netherlands, is considered by many to be of the most beautiful areas in the country. There were already belvederes in the Drentsche Aa area in the 19th century. The best-known of these, Kymmelsberg, was captured in paintings several times.

The Drentsche Aa landscape concept designed by Strootman Landschapsarchitecten proposes, among other things, to design a number of new belvederes in the Aa area. The new belvederes offer an opportunity to enjoy the cultural-historical and natural qualities of the most unique places in the Drentsche Aa area. Using a GIS analysis of the digital contour map and with extensive knowledge of the landscape in the Drentsche Aa area (30,000 hectares), the designers selected around 30 locations at relatively short distances from each other that display strong elevation differences (at least by Dutch standards…). These potential lookout points were visited in the field with a group of people and tested for their potential enjoyment value, accessibility and feasibility.

In the end eight places were chosen which had the best chance of showing the unique qualities of this National Landscape in spectacular fashion. A point-by-point design has been made for these eight locations. The design interventions mostly consist of removing vegetation and creating a unique location where people can enjoy the view. The belvederes were generally designed in a restrained manner with resources from the landscape: soil, vegetation and objects made of untreated wood and rusted steel.

A corporate identity was developed for all the new locations. Furniture, signs, and logos? were especially designed for the belvederes. Sculptural seating objects were designed for two of the locations. Native and untreated materials were used for the furniture, such as Douglas fir for the seating objects and perforated, rusted weathering steel for the road signs.

Location: National Landscape Drentsche Aa

Client: Staatsbosbeheer

Year of design: 2006-2010

Year of implementation: 2008-2010

Yearbook Landschapsarchitectuur en Stedenbouw 2010

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