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HOSPER: Redevelopment of the historic IJsselkade in Zutphen, from a parking lot into a riverside promenade with flood protection

That historic protection system can go hand in hand with renewal, is a fact demonstrated by the redevelopment of the IJsselkade in Zutphen. Historical structures were important inspiration elements for the redesign of the quay. The fortifications were transformed in such a way, so as to be used for flood risk management, while simultaneously to improve the living quality of the area.

In phase 1 (completed in 2018), the new flood protection wall was designed with a slightly inclined ending and finished with bricks. In this way, a connection with the historic walls of the fortified town was achieved. Further, the grass plateaus refer to the traces of the past fortifications. The lower part of the quay was transformed into a car-free zone, offered to both pedestrians and cyclists. For that reason a new bicycle ramp was created in affiliation with the rampart. Along the new cycling route a line of elm trees was planted to emphasize the direction of the monumental city front. The design of the benches along the grass plateaus were inspired by the classical shutters of the historic houses along the IJsselkade. The Berkelstuw (small dam) which is included in the flood defense system of the site, became noticeable with the design of new stairs and bridges. The floodgate in the flood protection wall – was widened towards the city center. Thus, an open view from the city to the IJssel and vice versa was accomplished. As a catering kiosk was blocking this vista from the city center to the Ijssel, the kiosk was demolished and relocated. The war monument was relocated as well, to the place where the fusillade actually took place, in a tight relation to the bereaved.

In phase 2 (starting in 2020), a solution for widening the river is proposed through the partial excavation of the quayside and its transformation into stair-steps leading to the water. These actions will create space for the river and make the surrounding area a strong corner point (“bastion”), which refers to the past of Zutphen as a fortified town. The stair-steps into the water and the renewed riverfront will transform the river IJssel into a livable space both for the residents and the visitors of Zutphen.

Landscape Architecture: HOSPER
Role of the office in this project: design public space including the main architectural designs for the flood protection walls and bridges
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Studio DL (lighting design), Studio Carmela Bogman (design benches), Roelofs/Nepocon (technical design)
Project location: IJsselkade, Zutphen, the Netherlands
Design year: 2014 – 2019
Year Built: 2018 (1st phase)

Photography: Pieter Kers

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