Biesbosch Stad

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Biesbosch Stad

Rotterdam, Netherlands


The delta territory of the Biesbosch is today an agricultural polder contained by dykes. It is with the anticipation of the consequences of climate change, that we imagine the transformation of the hydraulic functions. In addition to the transformation of the dykes, which will allow and control the storage of water in times of flooding, we propose to play with the exceptional nature of this delta landscape.

Among the mechanisms which have created the existing form of the landscape, a fascinating phenomenon of inversion has occurred. The cultivated areas of land have sunk due to drainage, while the sand bed of the old creeks has remained at the same level. It is a sort of landscape in negative, where the furrows of the river have become high ridges.

We propose to dig out part of the old creek beds to allow for a greater flow of water in periods of flooding. But we also propose to use the excavated material to exaggerate the inversion phenomenon by raising the height of parts of the old marine riverbed to a level which will not flood.

Based on the geomorphology, we propose the construction of a fabric of artificial platforms on which it will be possible to circulate and live. The landscape is a delta in negative, like an inverse print. It could be possible for certain parts of these raised creeks to receive city pieces, which open onto the landscape. All is interlinked by the fabric of the old creeks. The city and the constructions should become in turn the print and the memory of the forms of the delta. 

Territories, Urban strategies, Equipments

Rotterdam Architecture Biennale (2005)

Project Team:

Michel Desvigne, Paysagiste
WINN (Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat),
RIZA (Rijksinstituut voor Integraal Zoetwaterbeheer en Afvalwaterbehandeling)


80 ha (197 acres)