On Monday, August 29, construction began on Van Leeuwenhoek Park in New Delft. It will start in the northern part of the park – between the bus yard and the Anthony building. Alderman Frank van Vliet of Climate, Public Spaces, and Culture planted two trees with four children from New Delft. That was the beginning of construction.
For Van Vliet, the nature of the garden is very important. “In Delft, we like to look for connections and that’s exactly what this park does. It connects Poptahof and Voorhof to the center,” he says. “These neighborhoods are really within walking distance of the city center. By connecting, you are adding something to the park for everyone in the city,” van Vliet continues.
Bigger water fountain
The park was designed by BALJON landscape architects. The construction will include a collaboration with Marjolein van Esch, a climate researcher at TU Delft. It was possible to use wind and temperature models from TU. “For example, this has expanded the water fountain and moved it to where it is now,” explains Mary Laurie Hoedemakers of BALJON. “Here the heat from the bus yard stops and the cool air flows into the garden.”
Bad autumn winds often occur in highly congested areas. “We break that down by putting trees in the right places,” Hoedemakers says. “They turn the autumn wind into a gentle breeze.” The garden is designed asymmetrically. A double row of different types of lemon trees provides a shaded walkway in the garden and cools the facades of the buildings on the east side of the garden. “On the western side are individual solitaries and groups of various flowering and fruit-bearing trees,” adds Hoedemakers.
“It’s good that climate change is being taken care of,” says local councilman Frank Van Vliet. We are facing extreme temperatures and increasingly heavy rain. We have to keep this in mind when designing public spaces. Thanks to the collaboration with TU Delft, the park also serves as a “living climate laboratory”. In addition, I think it is important for everyone in Delft to have a place close to him or her to relax and meet.”
Picking and grouping between birds and butterflies
The park does not provide Delft residents with a happy place to stay. Nest boxes in eastern facades will attract birds. Butterflies and other insects will be attracted to the nectar of the various linden trees and the many onion plants in the garden. Hoedemakers: “The city often has food for birds and insects, especially in the summer. At Van Leeuwenhoek Garden we extend the nectar season from early spring to late fall. This makes the park a popular place for people and animals. There will also be fruit and nut trees. Feel free to come and pick cherries or quinces and pick up chestnuts or acorns.”