The largest estate in the Netherlands

Twickel, whose history goes back to the fourteenth century, is the largest estate in the Netherlands. In line with Michael van Gessel’s master plan, our practice has drawn up a renovation plan for the Overpark, based on respect for the historical park design and adjustment to the new circumstances.

The Twickel gardens have been laid out by several generations since the seventeenth century. Around 1835 the early landscape park was redesigned by J.D. Zocher and the German landscape architect C.E.A. Petzold extended Zocher’s landscape park in the period 1885-1891. The landscape architect Michael van Gessel was involved in the renovation of the Twickel park from the late 1990s to the beginning of 2015. He drew up a master plan and elaborated it for the Huispark, whose renovation has now been completed. In line with his master plan, our practice has drawn up a renovation plan for the Overpark, based on respect for the historical park design, adjustment to the new circumstances, and a focus on present and future use. Petzold tried to bring about a stronger connection between the Huispark and the Overpark, and the renovation plan follows his intentions. The Overpark, which had become overgrown at many points, has been opened up again, with the renewal of groups of trees and the addition of others here and there. To achieve greater cohesion between the different parts of the Overpark, an elongated open space has been created in the woodland to connect the open area in front of the castle with the woodland by means of a beautifully curved space. Ageing trees are felled to make way for many new ones. Vertical vegetation running parallel to the ring road has been removed to restore the visual axis between the estate and Delden. A splendid conclusion of the Twickelervaart has been designed in the Carelshaven in the form of a lake. We have also designed seven new pedestrian bridges: six in Overpark and one over the ring road to reinforce the connection between Twickel and Delden. The Overpark should be able to survive the next 100 years in this condition.


One of the elements in the master plan is the project Delden outskirts. Following the master plan, we have drawn up a design plan for this. The aim of this plan is to reduce the barrier effect of the N346 north of Delden and to strengthen the spatial and landscape cohesion between Delden, Twickel Castle and the Twickel estate. The ring road was constructed in the 1970s. We increased the slope of the banks to reduce the impact of the road on the land and removed vegetation parallel to the ring road to restore the visual axis between the estate and Delden.

To strengthen that link even further, a second pedestrian bridge was constructed over the ring road at the Markstraat. The details and materials match those of the pedestrian bridge constructed in the Twickelerlaan in 2014 based on a design by Michael van Gessel.


There are also opportunities for Twickel estate to achieve a better balance between landscape, nature and recreation, and Twickel is eager to take advantage of them. In drawing up a landscape development plan, we took a close look at the historical landscape and how it is used today. It is impossible to restore the landscape to the state in which it once was. The landscape must also be workable for the farmers. The LOP has been drawn up on the basis of three layers. (1) The historical layer – often small-scale, with ash trees, enclosed fields and meadows with wooded banks. (2) The ‘working’ landscape: functional for farmers, but also functional in terms of ecological connections, for example. (3) The landscape as users experience it: how they move through it, where the visual axes lie, the relations between open and closed, etc.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Strootman
Design year: 2015-2021
Year Built: 2017-
Photographer: Harry Cock

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