De Meelfabriek

Leiden, NL

Type Landscape design, public garden and square
Design 2017-2021
Construction 2021-2023
Location Leiden, The Netherlands
Size 1,4 ha
Client Van der Wiel Bouw
I.c.w. Studio Akkerhuis , Piet Oudolf, Pieters bouwtechniek, Supermodular, Civilink
Team Peter Veenstra, Leela Leelathipkul, Raf Rooijmans, Joost van de Ven, Austin van Beek, Roberto Coccia, Sara Vignali

De Meelfabriek is a landmark industrial complex in the city of Leiden, that is currently being redeveloped into a  mixed-use area. The plot consists of several monumental buildings, from which the first parts are dating back to the late 19th century, a newly built residential tower, and two student buildings. For the landscape design of the public square and garden, LOLA worked closely together with garden designer Piet Oudolf. The Meelfabriek terrain is part of Singelpark, a 6,5-kilometer park for which LOLA delivered the master plan. The first stage of execution is completed in the summer of 2023.
The overall design is a simple floor with 2 framed places; Meelfabriekplein (plaza) and Meelfabriektuin (garden). The brick pavement links all the buildings together with a rhythmic gutter line. Situated at the heart of De Meelfabriek, the square will be 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. Both the square and the garden are defined by a similar concrete sitting edge. Black steel planters with trees are scattered across the terrain.

The garden of De Meelfabriek is a tranquil place. Carefully framed, it will be a large ‘nature painting’. The seasonal dynamics are used to its best advantage;  each season revealing the beauty of new colors and shapes. The garden is fitted with sculptural sitting objects, that are optimized for different lazy postures. From these lazy benches, one can enjoy the garden in the best way.

Design plan for public space, garden and square

Presentation for future residents, focusing on landscape design and materialization

Impression of the garden and the surrounding public space

Construction activities on the terrain of De Meelfabriek