The Leeuwenhoekpark is named after famous bio scientist Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) and is to become the main green public space of the Leiden Bioscience Park. It will be a place where layers of history, modernity, water & nature, and different lifestyles will intertwine. The buildings on site are dating back to the era of Van Leeuwenhoek, but the surroundings are dense, modern and dynamic: the central train station, the Academic Hospital, the National Museum of Natural History, the Leiden University Campus and a vast park of bioscience companies attract great crowds of professionals, students, patients, and visitors. The Leeuwenhoekpark is their transit space and sole greenblue space in the area. The park will be the nr.1 lunchspot with a restaurant along the water, a healing garden for the hospital patients. But foremost it will be the main water retention basin in this largely paved and built up context.
The concept of the design is focused around creating a new void as a peaceful ‘eye of the storm’ in the hectic context of the park: the water room. This newly created water basin is positioned on a central location in the park and framed with a lining of beautiful European Ash trees, and an ecological planting border. The edges of the reflective pond are designed for a nice stroll and view towards the 16th century Pesthuis (a former hospital). During lunch hours the Leeuwenhoek Park will offer a nice place for seeing en being seen in the sun.
Location: Leiden, The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Leiden
Collaborators: Lola Landscape Architects
Year: 2012 – 2014