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Merksem Re-mix

Engaging Elevations & Allotments

Merksem, at the edge of Antwerp, has abundant open space —largely leftover fringes around twentieth-century transportation infrastructures and agriculture. Connecting such vast and fragmented fields, this Stoss project proposes a new type of productive park, weaving together topography and plodder management as important new civic and ecological links in Antwerp’s Green Ring.

Capillary Connections and Diversified Habitations

Working the earth and working the body are the two primary goals for the park, and they expand upon the popularity of sporting fields and allotment gardens that are scattered across the site. Building on the canals, the park extends these program tendencies to integrate and intensify habitats, flooding, and create a connected, re-mixed civic space. Laagland starts with water, in terms of both its functionality and its potential to catalyze new ecological and social life.

Saturation Gradients and Social Terraces

The park re-contours the ground so that it may better accept fluctuating levels of stormwater from the site and from adjacent highways and building parcels.  This strategy creates a full gradient of wet to dry and low to high conditions. Fluctuating water levels and varying intensities of use and activity (both on a single terrace and on aggregations of adjacent terraces) create a new type of dynamic park for the city, finely tuned to both environmental and social oscillations.

Team

Developed during her time at Stoss, Meg Studer was the project manager and a designer on Merksem Re-Mix. The larger Stoss team included Margaret Graham and collaboration with Fondu Landscape Architects.

Exposure
  • 2010, Shortlisted, Laagland Park Competition
Tools
  • rhino/gis – site analysis and design
  • excel – water data collation, budgets
  • psd/ai/inD – graphics and style standards
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Diversifying Ecologies & Access


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