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On Wednesday 1 September, MTD Landscape Architects visited the construction site of the RijnlandRoute together with the quality team and a delegation from the province, RWS, Comol5 and the architects of wUrck and NEXT. It was nice and good to be able to see the preliminary result and the progress and to talk to the other parties (again). We have obtained a good impression of the various works of art in the route and are very curious about their green integration.
In the spring of 2008, MTD Landscape Architects, at the request of the then spatial quality consultant of the Province of South Holland, carried out a design study with the aim of developing and guaranteeing the spatial quality of the integration of the highway and its surroundings. MTD Landscape Architects subsequently drew up the integration vision and the landscape plan for the RijnlandRoute and elaborated it in the (design) route decision and the Aesthetic Program of Requirements.
The basic idea of RijnlandRoutes is that the logic of the landscape, consisting of its qualities, structures and local routes, must remain readable and experienceable as much as possible after the construction of the RijnlandRoute. It is a search for balance: intervention is required that disrupts the existing equilibrium and therefore requires additional interventions to restore that balance. It is also important to explore the weak points of the existing environment: local connections are interrupted or made ad hoc and green areas are inaccessible. The design assignment must be viewed from the perspective of the user of the road and landscape: after all, it is about his 'living space'.
The landscape plan pays explicit attention to restoring these connections in the logic of the landscape and reinforcing the qualities of the various landscapes. For example, at a crucial place in the Papenwegse Polder, the Veenwatering crosses at ground level above the sunken RijnlandRoute, by means of an aqueduct. In this way a centuries-old waterline, still equipped with windmills, remains intact. This autonomous intersection will also be used for the fast cycle path between Leiden and Wassenaar. Another example of smart cross-linking of routes is the combination of a bicycle connection through the Ommedijk junction with a fauna passage, which is desired by the surrounding area and the municipality of Wassenaar. The plans also provide a framework for the design of the various junctions, noise barriers and plantings along the road. This explicitly takes into account ecological requirements, including bat routes.