Editor's note

The project by REDscape beautifully embraces the industrial milieu by using rough and recycled material. The harmony it contributes is seen on the photos, it melts with the surroundings in one whole. It also features a joyful colouring of the parking marks, establishing a kind of meta moment by actually putting an AutoCAD block for car on the ground. The project asks entirely appropriate question; how can the harbour with all its characteristics become a cultural/art zone, making grounds for various events and festivals.

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REDscape: The new design for the Harbour Quarter square has been completed in 2013. Surfaced with black precast concrete slabs, pink painted pictograms, reused bricks and a patchwork of natural stone along the quay, the square screams unpretentious with a splash of fun. Two iconic stainless steel lighting fixtures, echoing sails, illuminate the square at night for large events. The square (15 km zone) provides the docking, parking and delivery facilities of a working harbour, yet completely transforms itself to cater large events, festivals and other cultural activities for the living and cultural harbour.

Recently the Harbour Quarter [“Havenkwartier”] has been nominated for the Golden Pyramid, the state prize for inspiring commissioning. Since 2010, REDscape has been working on the public space of the urban regeneration of the Harbour Quarter in Deventer. The design team developed “Inside out”, a vision in which the freedom of the individual users above else were to be nurtured and stimulated. As a functioning harbour surrounded by industry the area required a multilateral approach. Concepts of shared space, tolerance, and freely defined public space were central to the development of the design. The spatial concept envisaged inverting the edges to readdress the relationship with its surroundings and present the working and living culture of the Harbour Quarter in a positive way to the city of Deventer.

The team sought to challenge the conventional concepts in Dutch planning by developing a shared space in which freedom and flexibility for future residents and businesses in the harbour would not be hindered. A level work floor of concrete slabs was used to cover the entire central area of the harbour arm, permitting free movement for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Daily activities such as parking and movement would be largely self regulating. Life size pictograms and symbols were painted on the work floor to develop a composition of ‘ glyphs’ to indicate speed zones, docking areas and parking places to assist in the daily regulation of the work floor.

As the Harbour Quarter is to be developed largely by private individuals (without large developers) over a longer period of time, nobody knew where or when the first developments would occur. REDscape therefore proposed to develop a toolbox of design principles for the whole Harbour Quarter which could be applied anywhere and everywhere if necessary. To develop this toolbox a specific area, the first harbour arm was selected to develop the principles. After the principles were developed, they were later worked out into a detailed proposal. In this way a flexible but accurate public space plan could be developed to cope with all kinds of new initiatives.


Landscape Architecture: REDscape
Location: Deventer, Province of Overijssel, NL
Design year: 2010-2012
Year of construction: 2013
Client: Municipality of Deventer
Area: 21 ha
Image credits: Michiel de Cleene

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