The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

The depoldering of Noordwaard is complete

On Monday October 12, Noordwaard was officially opened by the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen. Over the past five years the Dutch organization for national public works, Rijkswaterstaat, has restructured the 4.450 ha polder so it can flood, allowing a faster and safer discharge of the river into the sea.

The project has involved lowering the levee along the river Nieuwe Merwede by 3 meters over a length of 2 km. In the event of an extreme high tide, the river can breech the lowered levee and flood the hinterland – the Noordwaard polder. Creating more room for the water results in a drop of 30cm in the water level of the nearby river Merwede.

A massive undertaking, the project has involved four million cubic meters of earthworks; demolishing 50 houses and barns; created 30 kilometers of new quays and dykes; 45 kilometers of creeks, 29 talluds, 33 new bridges, 60 hydraulic structures and 12 pumping-stations.

In 2010 Combinatie Noordwaard (a collaboration between Boskalis, Martens en van Oord, van Hattem en Blankevoort and Gebr. van Kessel) won the competition for the depoldering of Noorwaard. West 8 together with IPV Delft is responsible for the design of 33 new bridges and 12 pumping-stations, a scheme proposed in the planning of Noordwaard which intended to strengthen the infrastructure of this restructured area. An integral part of the depoldering Noordwaard project, the bridges facilitate public access to the depoldered area connecting people to nature and providing new opportunities for recreation within the long-term water management strategy. On top of three of the pumping-stations viewing platforms offer a spectacular panorama over the horizontal landscape.

West 8 and IPV Delft designed three different types of bridges, these include 24 Creek Bridges, 6 Dike (embankment) Bridges and 3 Steurgat Bridges. It is a series of robust, simple bridge typologies, each with their own unique character. The robust foundations of the Dike Bridges, for instance, are designed to withstand the strong currents and forces of a flooding event. While the wide Creek Bridges feature precast concrete supports on which a narrow roadway lies. As well as detailed bronze bird sticks that offer a seat for local bird species. 

The depoldering of Noordwaard is one of the biggest projects in the national program Room for the River, a national flood prevention programme, comprising 30 projects mainly along the river Rhine (Netherland’s largest river), that allows more space for the safe discharge of high water levels.

For an overview of the project watch this short video.

Image by ©Jeroen Musch

West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 28 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Jubilee Gardens in London (UK), Expo \’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH) and Miami Beach SoundScape Park (US). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Yongsan Park in Seoul (KR).

Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB),  the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.

For more information: Public Relations, Winnie Poon, Lydia Franken or Nina Bohm, +31 (0)10 – 485 58 01,,