LOOSvanVLIET: The Blaricummermeent is a plan for about 750 houses and 18,5 hectares businesspark. The plan distinguishes itself by the blaricum-way of organization with curvy roads and a green atmosphere. An important part of the urban plan is the construction of a new river called the Meentstroom. The Meentstroom connects the existing water from the neighborhood Bijvanck with the Gooimeer and runs through two different parts of the plan; Stroom and Delta. A lock is built to connect the Meentstroom with the Gooimeer. The lock was designed as a cut-out of the dike and is covered with wood on top of the plateau as well as on the inside. This way it offers a warm welcome to those arriving by boat.

The infrastructural hierarchy is recognizable through straight streets that refer back to the earlier structure of the polders, curvy collector roads and main roads which are marked by outstanding rows of trees. Street profiles are narrow and have a very green atmosphere. The public space in the Blaricummermeent exists of a high-quality design of streets constructed in bricks and squares in natural stone. Each neighborhood will have several squares in locations where collector roads come together. The squares will each have a specific and large solitary tree, which will provide an identity for the place. The squares with large trees will function as landmarks in the whole plan. The ‘Cederplein’ and the ‘Plataanplein’, with a cedar tree planted on the first and a plane tree on the second square, are situated in the first neighborhood. Two colors of natural stone are used in the squares in a pattern that suggests the shadow of the tree on the floor. A steel ring surrounds the tree. Sitting objects made of natural stone, topped with wooden seats are placed on the square. Robust steps to the water made of natural stone are located on the ‘Plataanplein’ to offer the new residents a communal place along the new river.

The green space in the Blaricummermeent is concentrated in a linear park which runs along the new river. The river is inspired on a branch of the river Eem, which must have been at this place some ages ago. The 2,5 kilometer long park connects the existing green space of the adjacent neighbourhood Bijvanck with the leisure area Voorland Stichtsebrug. Its interior is outstanding with perennials, grasses and some nice solitary park trees. The color of the planting is a gradient from colorful in the south end to green in the natural end at the Gooimeer.

The bridges crossing the Meentstroom of the Blaricummermeent are a family and are seen as a continuation of the hedge along the roads of the master plan. Consequently, straight as well as curved bridges exist, which cross the river in a perpendicular and a diagonal way. A simple bridge slab was chosen to emphasize the continuity of the roads; the fence of the bridge stands out. The fence is shaped like an artificial hedge, referring to the hedges along all the roads which are so prominent in Blaricum and the Blaricummermeent. Much attention has gone to the development of the element of the fence, which offers a varied and open image by mirroring and turning it. It is an organic element which guides the pedestrian while crossing the river.

Project timeline: 2004 – current
Location: Blaricum, The Netherlands
Design: Atelier LOOSvanVLIET and Bureau B+B
In collaboration with: Projectbureau de Blaricummermeent, Urban management, RHDHV, Movares, Stadkwadraat, Impuls
Client: municipality of Blaricum
Size: 120 ha.
Program: 850 houses, 18,5 ha businesspark, 14 bridges, lock, park, public parks


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