Atlas Dikes Island IJsselmonde

Island of IJsselmonde

Most inhabitants of the island of IJsselmonde do not realize that they are living on an island. It is one of the most important islands in the Dutch delta, and as such almost entirely urbanized. One of the older structures is a refined network of dikes. In between the 20th century urban expansions, these ancient dikes are a green relic framework. The water system depends on the dike system; the old villages are built along the dikes, and a great part of the touristic infrastructure follows the dike structure.

The research results have been grouped around the three main roles that dikes play: waterworks, networks and building structures. The dike as a water system is closely related to the island genesis. Nowadays the historic dikes are not ideal for cars but a very attractive network for recreation and ecology. High and dry the dikes for centuries formed the ideal location to build houses, churches, castles.

The island is sinking and the urbanization is causing poor water quality. In our design we propose the Charloise Lagendijk to double as a water purification plant. The Network of dikes on IJsselmonde is blocked by newer networks of highways and rail infrastructure. In the inner city of Rotterdam a Dike Connector is proposed as a new public bike route along an existing dike, to link the city to the countryside. The old Building structures on IJsselmonde are a charming spaghetti of ribbon villages along the dikes. This principle is the concept of the Double Dike: new dikes can be built as new villages parallel to the existing rural dikes and protect against the periodical flooding of the land.

Location: IJsselmonde, The Netherlands
Client: Stimuleringsfonds voor Architectuur (Belvedère), Municipality of Rotterdam, District Charlois, Province Zuid-Holland
Collaborators: Lola Landscape Architects
Year: 2007 – 2010