Station square Apeldoorn

Apeldoorn, the Netherlands

Lodewijk Baljon landscape architects


Flying pines, a sand-colored floor, open space - it is enough to create a Veluwe landscape in the heart of Apeldoorn

Fig.1 The station square evokes the association of the Veluwe landscape. For the designers, the essence of that landscape was sand and pines. (Image: Rik Klein Gotink)
Fig.2 The paving beneeth the tree consists of different rings that "grow" with the trees. (Image: Michel Lafaille)
Fig.3 An artwork by Giny Vos has been applied to the retaining wall near the tunnel. 1.3 million LED lights represent a digital shifting sand landscape. (Image: Rik Klein Gotink)
Fig.4 No benches have been designed. There are plenty of seating areas, for example on edges and blocks, which, when they are empty, form part of the landscape. (Image: Daniel Nicolas Photography)

The landscape of the Veluwe is iconic: the forests, heathlands and drifting sand plains are engraved in the memory of most Dutch people.

In 2007, the municipality of Apeldoorn built a bicycle and pedestrian tunnel to improve the connection between the north and south sides of the track. The station square - at that time no more than a traffic junction with bus stops and parking spaces - also underwent a transformation. The facades around the square offered designer Lodewijk Baljon little starting points, so he turned to the landscape of the nearby Veluwe for inspiration. He said: "Apeldoorn is the capital of the Veluwe. If you get out of the train, it must be undeniable that you have arrived in the Veluwe. "By making a link to the Veluwe on the relatively large station square, Baljon hoped to prevent an uncanny feeling of emptiness. An empty square feels empty, an empty landscape does not, according to the Amsterdam landscape architect.

This characteristic landscape image is evoked with just a few elements. On the station square in Apeldoorn, these are the sand and the coniferous forest. The edges of the square are planted with fly pines, a literal citation from the original landscape. The branches of the gnarly trees form a coniferous roof. The pavement is made of yellow cobble stones. The rough, earthy character refers to the soft sand of the drifting sand flats. The stones are laid in many-shaped surfaces - because there are no seams, it appears that the pavement forms one surface. On the station square - in the shape of a half bowl - there are various elements: a water table, a skate rink, an old plane tree and coarse concrete seating blocks, intended to not spoil the feeling of landscape with benches. An artwork by Giny Vos has been applied to the retaining wall near the tunnel. 1.3 million LED lights represent a digital shifting sand landscape. Invisible is the technology that makes this piece of Veluwe possible in the city. Fly pines do not like to be paved and so special bunkers have been built underground around the roots. The tree grilles consist of different rings that "grow" with the trees.

Lodewijk Baljon evokes the experience of the Veluwe through an open, sloping space in which urban functions logically find their place. Just like the real Veluwe, the square does not necessarily need people to be full of character. In addition to the sand and the coniferous forest, a third iconic element has been named: open space.