The starting point for the redesign of the front square of The Courtyard Building on Papendorp in Utrecht was the existing situation composed of stately planters with white tiles and a monotonous planting under a significant amount of trees. Because the front square was made as a roof garden, trees were planted in the heightened planter. The overall atmosphere was a bit static, detached and commercial. The task for the front square was to transform it into a lush, leafy place to stay.
The first intervention consisted out of removing one-half of the trees so the light would be divided in a better way. The second intervention was about the planters that we decided to open where it was possible in order to break the rigidity of the formal design. With these openings the planting on a high level would come down to ground level, breaking the roof garden effect, increasing the amount of green on the front square and reducing the paved surface.
The monotonous planting has been transformed into an attractive planting in which seasonal experience is a leading theme. By increasing the planting surface it was possible to create a more enclosed area, whereby the atmosphere of the front square is improved. The existing trees form the structure. The undergrowth consists out of ornamental grasses like Sesleria with high accents of Molinia. This forms the base of the matrix. In this lush undergrowth planting, groups and accents of perennial plants like the Agastache, Liatris, Veronicastrum and Anemone are placed ensuring a yearly-attractive image.
Other designers involved in the design of landscape (architects and landscape architects): Rachel Santegoets (SKEPP), Patrick Ruijzenaars (Ruijzenaars landscapes), FloraNova (implementation)
Project location: Orteliuslaan, Utrecht, Netherlands
Design year: 2015
Year Built: 2015-2016