In early 1900 the Oranje-Nassau mines in Heerlen commissioned the construction of the Beersdal mine workers district in a French version of the Arts & Crafts style.
The neighbourhood’s grid consisted of main streets crossed with perpendicular narrow residential streets and courtyards. At the heart of the neighbourhood lay the Beersdalplein with its two shops. Greenery was limited to 1.5 metre hedges around the residential courtyards and a clearing on the central square.
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In 1953 Bergmans was given the opportunity to make Beersdal greener and turn it into a lush garden district. He transformed the central square into a formally styled park with lawns, rose beds, and a see-through tree enclosure. By integrating the front gardens into the street greenery, he created a continuous green strip on both sides of the road. In the streets, under a canopy of light birches, flowering shrubs and polyantha roses created a colourful ribbon. Sheltered by hedges and a green belt, allotment and school gardens, and sports and playing fields were created on the edges of the neighbourhood.
In 2008 Beersdal became a protected townscape, and Bergman’s leafy greenery continues to form the bedding for its exceptional architecture.
More garden districts a, designed by John Bergmans, in Noord-Brabant and Limburg can be found in Database TUiN.