Published: 15 June 2016
The Máxima Park in the Leidsche Rijn area by Utrecht was the setting for the this year’s Land Use Planning group excursion. Hailed as one of the most loved landscaped public parks in the Netherlands, it offers a multitude of activities for the old and the young. One of the park's architects is Wageningen University landscape architecture lecturer, Adriaan Geuze of architecture firm West 8.
The group entered the park through Geuze’s 6-meter tall 3.5-km long pergola to explore the inner park, walking past a butterfly garden, a Japanese garden, a water lily pond and art sculptures. Several even ‘climbed’ the criss-cross paths leading up to the top of the 15-metre high observation tower. The group marvelled at the outlandish design of the wood chapel, a hybrid of an American barn, oriental pagoda and folklorish art depictions, and many could not resist clamouring atop the ‘barricade’, a symbol for democracy and resistance against injustice and repression.
After a break at the park restaurant, the group headed for another 1.5-hour walk, this time along the outer park, and built up ravishing appetites to devour barbecued meats and gulp down cool beers at the home of one who lives next to the park. It was a wonderful excursion and opportunity for colleagues to get to know one another outside the confines of the office.