Bureau B+B: From the outset of the project Bureau B+B were struck by the numerous different types and colors of stone present in the bare featureless square. A place where the pedestrian was left to his own fate, a space that had been designed solely for the movement of bus traffic. Certainly not a square representative of the garden city of Zwijndrecht. The primary stimulus for renovating the square was the project ‘High Quality Transport for the Drecht towns’. A regional project with the intention of making public transportation faster, safer and more customer-friendly. We asked ourselves how this square could be transformed into a more representative entrance to Zwijndrecht, within which the specific local green qualities could be best expressed. To that end we chose to relocate all the various bus stops to the Stationsweg creating a more compact transport hub. This released a lot of free space for the station building.
A uniform continuous carpet of red brick now stretches from the station to the facades of the shops on the other side. The bricks create a calm base which draws the square into a single entity. By introducing an ensemble of elevated green islands the square now has a distinctly green character. The spaces between these islands guide visitors around the square to the buses, taxi ranks and main connecting streets. They are planted with a blend of ornamental grasses, supplemented with perennials and bulbs. Each island has one color of flowering plants that gives various flowers throughout the year. The planting is trimmed in the spring, whereby the vegetation gets a more compact growth habit and weeds are minimised. With this simple regime the maintenance costs can be kept within the limited management budget. The edges of the islands are shaped with precast concrete elements that form benches. The square has become both a meeting place as well as a pleasant transition zone.
Landscape Architecture: Bureau B+B stedebouw en landschapsarchitectuur with municipality Zwijndrecht en het Ingenieursbureau Drechtsteden
Location: Zwijndrecht, The Netherlands
Design: 2007 – 2008
Photography: Frank Hanswijk
Client: Municipality of Zwijndrecht
Cost: € 1.850.000,- €
Area: 11.100 m2