The BSc thesis group working on 'recycled park islands' on WUR intranet.

Published on
August 15, 2016
The BSc thesis group that worked under supervision of Paul Roncken was mentioned in a WUR intranet article. The students participated in an initiative by WHIM Architecture to design and transform the excess of floating waste in Rotterdam. Their solution where 'recycled park islands'.

Text from the WUR intranet site:

Circular Design Challenges: from floating waste to floating parks 

wo 13-07-2016  

Third year landscape architecture students have participated in an initiative by WHIM Architecture to design and transform the excess of floating waste in Rotterdam. They want to turn this nuisance into a positive impact on the circular ecology of Rotterdam by ‘recycled park islands’. With Paul Roncken as supervisor they developed several types of waste catchment and circular design motives into floating parks.

The Rotterdam landscape is well defined by water and unfortunately also by an excess of floating waste. At times, the popularity of the city seems to be expressed through the amount of drifting plastics and other debris. The 'recycled park' design, developed by WHIM Architecture, aims to retrieve plastic waste from the Nieuwe Maas in Rotterdam and turn the recycled plastic into floating units for the creation of green urban space. The ‘recycled park islands’ project aims to develop and test several types of waste catchment and circular design motives into floating parks. The main innovative aspect in this project is a focus on developing (1) specific ecological biotopes; (2) specific circularity-expressive public spaces related to the existing network of public spaces; and (3) expand the functionality of recycled park system services, as part of the long-term research theme of  ‘landscape machines’.

Two student projects are highlighted below. All projects are part of the final examination of the bachelor in landscape architecture at Wageningen University, supervised by Ramon Knoester (WHIM architecture) and Paul Roncken (Wageningen University, landscape architecture).

Jan Willem van Veelen: Floating Aquascape
“In this design proposal I have studied the link between the higher situated quays and the lower level water surface. I have tried to improve the experience of the water from the quay, to improve the situation on the quay and to make people aware of the opportunities for recycling. The design literally connects the quay and plastic recycling by an interactive machine-like structure, that transports the plastic upward and the remaining water down again. The plastic that is being separated is then stored in an exhibiting container/exhibition structure, which adds to a place-making experience on the quay. The water falls through a waterfall back onto the floating island and creates dynamic interactions for both humans and ecological niches. Various water features, such as a ‘Mozes Bridge’ (picture) that enables people to be more intimate with the water by lowering their view, further enhance the interaction. The floating structure is mainly a generic design that can be implemented within different cities and continents were plastic needs to be collected.”

Lisanne Veenbergen: River Baths
“The Nieuwe Maas has lost its recreational value: it is currently not possible to enjoy the water. My design aim is to add floating public facilities for swimming, as would be expected in a revolutionary city as Rotterdam. The design of a floating aquatic park in the Schiehaven can restore some of the lacking relationships between urban population and water. Refrained from using the current modular land-making concept and opting for the use of much larger platforms, a “Rotterdam river bath” can be designed. It integrates aspects of a city park with the design of a public city pool, utilizing the ability to be adventurous, informed by an ecological awareness of recycling and natural water purification. The swimming area is the most striking element of the design: being 80 meters long and 15 to 50 meters wide. In addition to the large swimming area, my design consists of dramatic alternations between high and low, open and enclosed, plastic and planting. The “Blue spine” functions as an integral part of the design: connecting two opposing forces, man and nature, through multiple water treatment structures.”