Landscape Plan of Crailoo
Location: Hilversum, the Netherlands
Type: overall planning, concept design, detail design
Size: 300 hectares
Purpose: wildlife corridor, recreation, education, natural landscape
Client: Goois Nature Reserve
Time: 1999 - 2002
Status: completed��il �E�Ionmental Education Center
Time: 2013 – 2014
Status: under construction
To the west of the overpass, agriculture has been transformed into a nature education zone with a new visitor center. In this existing artificial valley, a design incorporating a range of nature types has been realized. The type of nature that will flourish is determined by the availability of nutrients in the soil, the water depth and ground levels, and the implementation of various maintenance strategies. Once placed within a matrix, these determining factors resulted in ten nature types typical of this region.
One of the goals of the design was to be able to represent these determining factors on site visually as well as physically. Clear distinctions between the different nature types were made. These are exhibited through a number of rectangular islands with different nature types placed within a large stretch of water. This island concept also facilitates an understanding and interaction between the site and its visitors. Visitors can observe the relationship between the water level and the nature typology of each island. The remaining meadow area is maintained through grazing by Scottish highland cattle. The entire site is accessible including all of the islands, which are connected by a sweeping boardwalk.
The surrounding recreational area, as well as the sport and golf fields on the eastern side of the bridge was specially designed and re-contextualized to integrate with the ecological functioning of the bridge. They act as buffers between the natural and cultural functions and together with the bridge from an integral part of the regional ecological network. An observation platform offers stunning views over the entire area.
Recently, ALTERRA did an on-site research and analysis of animal movement has shown the bridge is successful and functioning as part of the ecological network. Due to its size and variety of ecotypes, the bridge functions not only as an overpass but also as habitat for the flora and fauna.