Dwaalster Park Vijversburg

Tytsjerk, NL

Type park design
Design 2011-2015 (completed)
Size 8 ha
Client Stichting op Toutenberg
I.c.w. Deltavormgroep & Piet Oudolf
Photo Iwan Baan

Park Groot Vijversburg is a romantic public park with a growing art collection, located in the north of the Netherlands. The park is broadening its boundaries and is ambitious to become a national destination. The design gives a contemporary interpretation to two new park chambers which create a link between the historical park, a post-war recreational area and a nature reserve.

Central element in the design is the ‘Star Maze’, a remix of two historic park figures: the star shaped forest and the labyrinth. This structure consists of five meter tall hedges that function like room dividers for the existing meadow and create several park spaces suitable for various use. On top of this, the structure creates connections to the surrounding landscape and arranges the accessibility to the various fields

Each ending of the ‘Star Maze’ has a function, such as a landscape balcony with a view over the nature reserve, a pier for canoe travelers in the recreational area, a window with a vista to the main park villa and a shed with rubber boots, to explore the marshland. The second park chamber, which can be flooded regularly, contains several hills with perennials in a field of pollard willows. The hills can be reached through a grid structure of small dikes.

The design offers the visitor a great freedom of choice in the way he can move through the park. The visitor has to find his own way through the ‘Star Maze’ to get to the different areas. The central space gives an overview in all directions, but at the same time doesn’t impose any direction. By doing so, the design goes beyond the ideals of public cultivation and public health on which the nearby romantic park and the modernistic recreational landscape are based, and it gives the visitor maximum freedom to use the park however he wishes to.

Wander from room to room

The different spaces are demarcated with willow shoots

The spaces make possible different uses side-by-side

In the center of the Star Maze all directions present themselves equally

Relationships with the environment are strengthened

An underwater bridge, custom made benches and swings are part of the design