POLDER PIONEERS PART 2 (Noordoostpolder, the Netherlands)
A rational design:
The Noordoostpolder (North East Polder) was the second polder after Wieringermeer to be created as part of the Zuiderzee Works. Both combine functional hydraulic engineering and agricultural frames of reference with traditional ideas on planning and landscape.
M.J. Granpré Molière was involved in parcelling the polder landscape. Noordoostpolder was laid out between 1936 and 1942. The landscape was divided into standard lots of 300 x 800 m. Altogether, some 1000 arable, 500 mixed, 225 horticulture and 93 state-owned farms were planned. These were constructed to a standard design, their barns fully prefabricated and assembled on site. Tree cover consisted mainly of linear elements supplemented by three forested areas. Later also the farms were surrounded bij wooded banks, because the wind was unbearable.
Sitting at the intersection of the main roads through Noordoostpolder is Emmeloord, the local administrative centre. Ten villages lie in a circle round Emmeloord. Each has a main square boasting three churches for the principal denominations; the villages' population makeup reflected the 'pillarization' or religious-political division in Dutch society. Most of the villages were designed conform the traditional Delft School, by the architectural section of the Wieringermeer management. Only Nagele was claimed by the modernist architects and urbanists of the Amsterdam functionalist circle De 8.
After the polder lands were reclaimed these had to be cleared and prepared for their final destination: agriculture. Digging drainage trenches and ditches happened at that time with the shovel. Thousands of farm workers, in most cases, farmers' sons, were attracted to do this very heavy work; the Rijksdienst voor de IJsselmeerpolders gave them a farm in the polder in prospect. Spread over 33 camps the workers were scattered across the polder. The living conditions of these workers were poor; they lived in drafty barracks. In addition, the workers were working weeks of more than fifty hours at an hourly wage of 42 cents. More than ten thousand men and women dreamed of a future in this new land. Only 1,700 people were considered by the government good enough.
Wild West? Land of unlimited possibilities?
The void, windy, rugged and barely accessible seabed, where only men were living in drafty barracks, working more than fifty hours a day, was a part of the Netherlands where you only would go if you would have serious business to do. During the second world war, therefore, the Noordoostpolder was a good place to hide for the Nazis. For the same reason, just after the war the polder was the ideal place to build and test the scale models for the famous but highly secret Delta works.
The new land was also attracting people with new ideas and dreams to be realized. The village Nagele for example, was claimed for a modernist urban design experiment by the Amsterdam functionalist circle De 8. The vast landscape was the Dutch Nevada, ideal to realize some curious Land Art projects. And last but not least: even a secret telescope was built by the Dutch government in the polder, looking for extraterrestrial life.
Now, in 2015, the villages in the Noordoostpolder are dealing with stagnation or even shrinkage. A third of the polder farms has no future. The rational, static urban design plan of Granpré Molière seems to be outdated and inflexible.
On the other hand, we see that the former pioneers have built a unique piece of land with a strong character. There is still a lot of space left, and it proves to be attractive for new initiatives and businesses, maybe for the next generation of pioneers.
The assignment: Polder Pioneers, part 2
Imagine that one third of the existing farms is no farm anymore. What is left of each of these farms is a house and a huge barn on a lot, hidden by a dense wooded bank around it.
The assignment of this designweek is to design a flexible living concept for these former farms for the next generation of pioneers. Make a strategic design (i.e. work with scenario’s) on different scale levels. Show the relation between the former farms, and if there is a relation with one of the villages, give insight in this too.
april 2015 - july 2015
20 hours per week
Saxion University of Applied Sciences, department of urban design
University of Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture
Prof. Dr. Lucija Ažman Momirski, architect, Ljubljana
Water models in waterloop bos
The design week is in week 18 in Deventer and the Noordoostpolder. Tuesday we will start with an introduction of the project and an excursion to the Noordoostpolder. The next days we will have a workshop in Deventer to develop a concept and you will get input from experts. On Friday you will present your concept of a strategic design for the new pioneers.
Final presentation of your urban design:
3 A1 / A0 posters to be submitted both on paper an in digital form. This posters give insight in your concept, your design strategy and the design of the new farms.
Products: concept for the new pioneers in drawings
design strategy on different scale levels
urban design plan of the polder in 1:50.000
urban design plan of a relevant part in 1:2000
urban design of a farm in 1:200 / 1:100
A personal portfolio assessment:
A successful final presentation allows you to get a portfolio assessment of 3 professional competences (Concept, Urban Design and Urban Strategy). The results of this assessment will be certificated.
In this urban nomads program you will develop 3 professional competences: Concept, Urban Design and Urban Strategy
During 12 weeks you will work continuously and integral on these competences. You work individual and you will get weekly feedback in classes on your products. This project includes 1 design week in Deventer and the Noordoostpolder and a final presentation.
Feedback on products:
Once a week (see schedule) you get individual feedback on the design products in the studio of urban nomads. Feedback is at the Saxion University of applied sciences in Deventer on Wednesday at 16:00 o’clock
In the design week (28.04 – 01.05) we start on Tuesday morning with a introduction of the pioneers project. In this week you will work together with an international group of urban design students. We will visit the Noordoospolder and we will have a workshop at Saxion University of Applied Sciences on Wednesday and Thursday. At the workshop you will get input, feedback and work on your concept and your urban strategy.
At the end of the course you present your project to professionals.
Portfolio assessment, certification:
After the final presentation your portfolio will be accessed by certificated assessors on the 3 competences. You will receive a certificate.
Concept schedule (April –June 2015)
April / May June / July
week 18 design week - concept / urban strategy week 25 urban design / urban strategy
week 20 portfolio week 26 urban design / urban strategy
week 22 concept / urban strategy week 28 final presentation
week 23 urban design / urban strategy week 29 portfolio assessment