In the Hague, there is an increasing need to make the Laak district greener. The city council wants to increase the tree cover and research the potential of urban forest for climate change adaptation.
In Slachthuisplein, an urban forest is being planted. It is a pilot to test forest-like system planting as a tool to create a robust green infrastructure as well as a nicer place to stay in summer, a lush and green forest-park offering a natural playground environment for the kids of Prins Willem Alexander elementary school.
In the design, trees are planted in such a way that they will be connected to each other through the underground system of tree roots. soil life will increase and biodiversity will thrive above and below ground.
The tree species are carefully chosen to resist the urban conditions. The planting palette is inspired by the dune forest habitat where similar environmental conditions can be found.
In the Slachthuisplein, space and time will be given for natural regeneration and forest succession to happen. it will be a shelter for mushrooms, symbiotic bacteria, plants, lichen, moss and animals living around; a new biodiversity to be discovered in the heart of the Laak district.
The project plan is co-designed by Jean-François Gauthier (landscape architect, SYLVA) and Michiel Mol (arborist, Terra Nostra) in close collaboration with Wiebke Klemm (landscape architect, strategy advisor, The Hague municipality), Leendert Koudstaal (green space advisor, the Hague municipality), Roeland Lelieveld (sustainability consultant, the Hague municipality), the Nationale Bomenbank, Vadercentrum Adam and the Laak city council in general.
Location: Slachthuisplein, The Hague
Assignment: Park Design
Size: 1200 m2
Design and Construction: 2020-2021
Client: Municipality of The Hague (DPZ, DSB, DSO)
In collaboration with: Terra Nostra, Nationale Bomenbank, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Supported by: Creative Industry NL
Pictures by: Antoine Thevenet