Floating Lowlands
Zoetermeerse Meerpolder (2013)

Studio: Msc2 Landscape architecture (TU Delft)
Docenten: Inge Bobbink, Silvia Lupini
The assignment was to design a recreation landscape in the Zoetermeersche Meerpolder, a peat polder that used to be a lake before it was pumped dry in 1614. Because of rising sea and river levels, an important part of the assignment was to create a water body that could serve as a buffer.
In the plan I propose, a part of the agricultural land makes place for the water, but in return 'chinampas' and floating islands make up for the lost land. The chinampa system was developed by the Aztecs. They were made in a shallow lake or swamp by digging canals and throwing the dug up mud and layers of decaying organic material in a woven basket-like construction. To hold the earth together water willows or ahuejotes were planted along the water edges. The chinampas were highly productive, also on the long-term. In the deeper parts of the water food is grown on floating islands, built with polystyrene blocks. In between the chinampas, floating islands and remaining pieces of land and wooden paths make the new agricultural landscape available for recreational and educational purposes.