The link between the city and the countryside
Middelburg’s urban development plan was drawn up with the intention of raising the city’s national profile. One of the tasks set out by the plan was the restoration of the link between the city centre and Middelburg Zuid, the southern part of the city — which at the time was isolated by a canal — a restoration to be achieved by constructing a series of landmarks along the canal that would mark the new boundary between the city and the countryside and turn Middelburg Zuid and the centre into a single urban area once again. The Rijkswaterstaat’s new regional office was to be one of these landmarks.
We designed the Rijkswaterstaat building as an elongated geometric form that conveys the authority of the office, on account of its compactness, but that also exudes lightness, on account of its elevation on pillars and the abundant use of glass in the façade. Elevating the building allowed us to use its entire base as a car park and preserve as much of the surroundings as possible in its natural state.