De Meelfabriek garden is designed as a nature painting

10 July 2024

For the landscape design of the public square and garden of De Meelfabriek, LOLA Landscape Architects worked closely with garden designer Piet Oudolf. Together they created a green oasis at the heart of the of the industrial heritage setting of De Meelfabriek, a landmark complex in the city of Leiden.

The garden is a lush planted and peaceful place. Carefully framed, it is designed as a large ‘nature painting’. Every season reveals a new beautiful color and shape, utilizing the seasonal dynamics in its best interest. The garden is fitted with pebble-shaped sitting objects and from these benches, one can enjoy the activities of the animals, insects and people in garden in the best possible way.

Based on the masterplan of Studio Akkerhuis, De Meelfabriek site has been redeveloped into an attractive mixed-use area. The plot consists of several monumental buildings, from which the first parts are dating back to the late 19th century. The LOLA and Piet Oudolf (planting) designed garden is situated on top of the site’s new underground parking structure.

The overall design of the site is a simple floor with 2 framed places; Meelfabriektuin (garden) and Meelfabriekplein (plaza). The brick pavement links all the buildings together with a rhythmic gutter line. Both the square and the garden are defined by a similar concrete sitting edge.

The garden and the square are to become a lively and vibrant spot. It will attract residents, tourists staying at and visitors of the hotel, wellness center, shops, and restaurants, as well as people taking a stroll around the Singelpark.

With a festive opening, the garden was officially opened in July 2024.

Design: 2017-2021
Completion: 2024
Client: Van der Wiel Bouw
I.c.w.: Studio Akkerhuis, Piet Oudolf, Pieters bouwtechniek, Supermodular, Civilink, Escofet
Photos: Corentin Haubruge, Patty Beuk

Read more

Design plan for public space, garden and square

The garden, seating objects, the surrounding public space and the concrete sitting edge

A green oasis in the middle of the post-industrial context of De Meelfabriek residential complex

Detail of the roofgarden showing the plantings, paths, and relaxing spots

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