This pocket park is part of an extensive green plan for the Kop Zuidas neighbourhood, which also includes the design for a new public square known as Hogelandplein. This plan is not only about making the neighbourhood greener – it is also about creating a green place where people can meet, sit or play. These new green areas and the green infiltration strip have a water-retardant function, temporary collecting and retaining rainwater. This takes the pressure off the drains in the event of heavy showers, reducing the number of puddles on the street.
Alessandro Solci is the brains behind many of the designs in Kop Zuidas and is careful to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to newly-landscaped public areas, while also aiming to achieve a similar atmosphere. That means the same style of planting and the same materials for seating. ‘We definitely don’t adopt an off-the-cuff approach to our work’, emphasises Solci. ‘We have an overall concept and derive all our designs from that. For example, across the whole of Kop Zuidas, we’ve opted to add the same natural-stone edging where you can also sit down and the same wooden benches are being used everywhere.’
In a similar way, the trees and plants are not simply chosen at random. Solci: ‘There will be nut trees and flowering trees all over Kop Zuidas. However, we do include variety in the type of trees that we use.’ Medlar trees have been chosen for Eemlandstraat, for example. ‘These will start blossoming in May and because the park will be completed by then, you’ll be able to enjoy that beautiful sight immediately.’ Although it will feature plenty of seating, the new pocket park in Eemlandstraat is primarily being designed as a play area. ‘But that doesn’t detract from the fact that all of the places we design for the public realm have to be suitable for young and old alike. That ensures Kop Zuidas is a nice place for everyone.’
Impact on bikes and mopeds
The work will be done from 26 March until 14 May 2021. From 26 March, and also after that when the new landscaping has been completed, Eemlandstraat will no longer be accessible to cyclists. From then on, the connection between Zuidelijke Wandelweg and Gaasterlandstraat for cyclists will be via Gelrestraat or past the RIV building. Only cyclists – and not mopeds – are permitted alongside the RIV building.