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The unifying element in Spilstraat landscape design is a repeatedly bending green ribbon. The ribbon’s design is inspired by plants and by motifs of Renaissance and baroque gardens. The ribbon functions as separation of walkways and street; in addition, lighting, planting and collective trash bins are integrated in it. The ribbon protects playgrounds and there are informal seating facilities integrated for parents to watch. At the beginning of the street the green ribbon starts with a vertical curl: a friendly welcome.

Before this project Spilstraat is a slightly worn down neighbourhood in the North of the city of Alkmaar with approx. 3.5 ha and about 200 houses.  As a design principle, the formerly oversized and unclearly dedicated public space is decreased in size. Giving out land for private gardens is maximized.

Public space becomes more accessible and clear. Two new urban meeting places are appealing to all generations: in the ‘round end’ of the street an inclined playground behind trees is projected and a barbecue terrace on the waterside. Halfway the street a playground for many generations (‘brede speelplek’) is situated next to a look-out tower and a petanque strip along the water for the elderly. In one of the existing courtyards a full-size basket and soccer field is situated.

The appearance of the street is not dominated by automobiles anymore, because the design maximises the parking in the courtyards, replacing the dull bushes. All inhabitants are now able to park their car close to their homes. The formerly bendy and obscure driveway becomes straight. Lines on the pavement, furnishing and two roundabouts slow down the traffic in this 30 km zone.

Project type: Realisation
Commissioned by: Municipality of Alkmaar
Location: Spilstraat, Alkmaar (NL)
Date: 2007-2011