Lodewijk Baljon (LODEWIJK BALJON landscape architects) on the Stations square in Apeldoorn

"As a landscape architect I can't design without wanting to tell a story. I have three attitudes to the landscape, which can also exist interchangeably:


You structure your design based on the landscape. You look at the place, how did it come about. In our design for the Waal front, for example, there were remains of the Roman city visible, old dyke routes, a fort and nineteenth-century industry. In our Master Plan we picked up a number of lines from history. We call it "steady lines", things that we use in the design. The fort for example. The strategic location of the river is inherent in history, giving you fantastic views of the river landscape on the one hand, and of the quay of the inner city on the other.


You borrow from the landscape. You incorporate distant views into your design, just like the English landscape gardens where the surrounding landscape became just as much a part of a garden design. This approach of borrowed landscape is more often seen abroad, since it is easier to do in a sloping landscape than in the flat landscape of the Netherlands.


You evoke the association of a landscape. "

"We did the latter at the . The square is a semicircle, a cycle path had to be placed under the track - the track in Apeldoorn is roughly at ground level, so we had to go down four meters - and the built environment is quite non-descript. What is the reference then, there is little to "borrow"? We thought that if you get out you must unmistakably be in the Veluwe. Apeldoorn is the capital of the Veluwe. Apeldoorn is of course more: they advertise themselves as a sports city and it is the place of Paleis het Loo, but it is much more difficult to evoke associations with these features. The image of a sports city, for example, is temporary, and a reference to the Loo requires more knowledge of passers-by. The Veluwe, on the other hand, is iconic, something you could evoke with just a few elements. "

"But what made the decision to evoke the landscape image of the Veluwe here was that the square is very large. And more than 25,000 cyclists ride the square every day. Furthermore, it is relatively quiet when it comes to visitors. An empty square is not a nice place. But an empty landscape does not feel "bare". The evergreen pines, the rustling of the needles and their smell, helps to make you never feel alone in this place. That is why there are nowhere benches designed: there are plenty of seats, for example on edges and blocks, but if they are empty, they are part of the landscape. "

"The essence of the Veluwe was for us: sand and pines. We have studied for a long time how the floor (the "sand") should be shaped. Pines do not want to be paved, so they are in special bunkers. The floor rests on concrete crosses, so air and moisture can reach the earth beneath, that is what pines want. Technically it was a puzzle. The first idea for the pavement was gravel in synthetic resin, but the contractor did not want that. Asphalt did not evoke the right image. In the end yellow granite boulders were traditionally paved. That has a roughness that you also associate with sand. Over time, a gray color will appear, small shadow spots that evoke that rough and earthy appearance. "

"A system of gutters, together with the dilatations, forms a pentagonal pattern, which gave the possibility to turn the pavement a little, creating an organic image. The crackle pattern is refined by the trees in smaller pentagons. We didn't want tree grilles either, the pines really had to be in the sand. That is why we designed tree grates with pebbles and a removable ring, which gives the trees the opportunity to grow. And they do that! The first tree rings have already been taken out. The light towers on the square are slender, like trunks in a pine forest. "

"Then the issue of height difference. The route to the bicycle tunnel could look heavy, you cycle off the slope against the light. And the wall is one hundred meters long. That is why we thought that a light artwork could come behind the glass wall. Light artist Tiny Vos made a design that had something to do with both traveling and the Veluwe. 1.3 million LED lights show drifting, or "traveling" sand. The image is different at every moment of the day, it is very dynamic during the day, quieter in the evening. That dynamic light wall, creates a very contemporary image of the Veluwe. "