DELVA Landscape Architecture / Urbanism has revealed designs for Het Oog (Dutch for “The Eye”), a multifunctional “(under)water” landscape park that will connect the two neighborhoods of Strandeiland, a future residential area that will accommodate 8,000 homes in Amsterdam’s IJburg collection of artificial islands. The 22-hectare city park is part of Strandeiland’s urban plan developed in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam. In addition to providing recreational opportunities for local residents, Het Oog will also offer a rich variety of landscapes, diverse habitats for fauna and natural water purification systems.
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Located atop the historic primeval channel of Amsterdam’s River IJ, Het Oog is a large, humanmade inland waterway at the heart of Strandeiland. The waterway, which will be developed into a park, will link the two planned neighborhoods currently being developed in Strandeiland’s second development phase, which is expected to be completed in 2040 and will house approximately 20,000 residents.
“The distinctive identities of the Pampusbuurt (formal and urban) and Muiderbuurt (informal and natural) are reflected in the rich variety of landscape typologies that will work together to form the structure of the (underwater) landscape park,” the designers explained. “It is a place of residence, meeting and activity for local residents but is also comprised of diverse ecosystems, a natural purification system and a distinct urban environment. Thus, Het Oog forms a solid ecological stepping stone between the IJmeer and the Diemerpolder.”
The design of Het Oog focuses on three main themes: water purification; water ecology with diverse habitats for fauna and flora; and water recreational activities that include walking, resting, swimming and more. Because about half of the rainwater on Strandeiland is diverted into Het Oog, DELVA — in collaboration with Sweco and the municipality of Amsterdam — developed a series of methods to naturally purify the water and guarantee safe water quality levels. The natural purification strategies include planting a large area of reed beds that will inject oxygen into the water; lowering the water level of the waterway to encourage growth of water-purifying aquatic plants; and shortening the bank length with artificial islands, wetlands and irregular landforms.
Images via DELVA and WAX