Circular incubator in self-purifying park

DELVA is responsible for the design, research, planting and maintenance of the De Ceuvel park in Amsterdam.

The location is on the site of the former shipyard ‘Ceuvel Volharding’, which became increasingly abandoned and polluted over the years. Due to the economic crisis, the shipyard was not remediated and further developed, but space was created for alternative development and experimentation. The municipality made the area available for a period of ten years to the most innovative plan. DELVA’s winning design Zuiverend Park De Ceuvel, includes an organically growing breeding ground. Written-off houseboats that have been restored and reused as temporary accommodations are central to the design. Surrounding it is an ingenious green park that purifies the soil and prepares it for future redevelopment. Through the system of nature, we are creating a circular community that will give the location back to the city of Amsterdam after ten years in a cleaner condition.

We are tackling the current heavy pollution in the area with phytoremediation – a technique that uses plants to extract pollution from the soil. It is a natural solution that provides the site with a lush environment between the boats. With a careful selection of grasses, reeds and herbs, we convert the pollution into nutrients and add oxygen to the soil and water. A bio-digester converts the biomass created into energy.

The project is a model for the universities of Wageningen and Ghent for their research into organic soil purification and biomass production.


Landscape Architecture: Delva

Project Location: Korte Papaverweg 2, 1032 KB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Design year: 2012-2014

Year Built: 2014

Team: DELVA, Metabolic Label, Space & Matter en Studio Valkenier

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