Noorder Dierenpark Emmen

The Noorder Dierenpark is a major attraction for Emmen. In order to expand the zoo, the local authority is considering moving this attraction to the Noordbargeresch. The new location is right on the border of the present city centre, but also a sensitive location in terms of landscape and cultural history. Strootman analysed the location and characteristics of this stretch of arable land, resulting in a vision for the insertion of the zoo.

Although originally an open expanse of land for agriculture, the Noordbargeresch lost that open quality long ago. Therefore, we propose focusing on other characteristics of the esch. An esch is also a defined area of land with shared use surrounded by a strong border of vegetation. This defined area contrasts with the surrounding landscape. We have used this principle in the vision to turn the fragments of that expanse of land into a park with various thematic gardens, one of which is the zoo, within a new boundary.
This park can accommodate three or four thematic gardens, located as islands in the original plot of land. Besides the zoo, we have in mind an archaeological garden, an arboretum, and for example a water garden. Distinctive hedges mark the different gardens within the park. The space between the gardens acquires a character of its own thanks to the random scattering of flowering Japanese cherry trees. A new path structure is introduced in the park that is partly based on the original pattern of paths. The plot is surrounded by a new tree-lined avenue with a path leading right round the area and affording a view of the adjacent, open agrarian landscape.

The complex is in line with the local authority’s plans for the renewed city centre. The entrance to the park, together with a theatre, is situated in a square in a green border, Meeting World.

Location: Noorder Dierenpark, Emmen

Client: Emmen local authority

Area: approx. 49 ha

Design year: 2009-2011

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