Best (Dutch) Sustainable Building Project Award 2012

During the Dutch Sustainable Building event (DUBO) in Rotterdam on September 27, 2012, the DUBO-award was presented to the design of the motorway N329 in the municipality of Oss. Commissioned by Oss and the province of Northern-Brabant, a designteam lead by RoyalHaskoningDHV, landscape architect Paul Roncken and artist Wim Korvinus (on behalf of the BKKC) created the design masterplan for this sustainable innovation. A road that cleans itself, a drivable landscape that is producing electricity, heat and both natural and exotic biotopes.

The design is explicit in its appearance by integrated designs of tunnels, tunnel-gardens, verge landscapes, management by sheep, smart LED lightning, a CO2 neutrality and the largest plantdesign for a public roadside in the Netherlands (3km long, consisting of 10.000 biological adaptive plants). Combining efficiency, design and technique in a not too obvious expression but a sincere landscape machine that expresses local identity and conveys a hopeful perspective on the future, everytime you drive the road – even on the special holiday events when the road is closed for cars and open for slow-traffic events and seasonal celebration (picture below).
More on: (in Dutch)

of by this pdf N329_wegvandetoekomst_final (in Dutch)

or by this google imagery


What is a landscape machine?

The definition of a Landscape Machine according to the first publication is threefold: (1) it is a productive landscape that clearly addresses an existent malfunction or disfunctionality related to landscape systems. An improved design to deal with this situation can be evaluated by the input-output ratio and quality of living system components. The ratio is not driven by maximum efficiency – as in Victorian hard-cast machines, there is rather an excess of input and an abundance of output to allow diversification by eco-system services; (2) the machine-aspect consists of naturally occurring processes that are either enlarged or stimulated to perform (lushly) while continuously interacting with each other, effecting the shape, size and position of components within the landscape; (3) the landscape machine should therefore be designed and understood by various stages in its development: an initial state, a process state and a first yield state in which the output can be assessed. During the initial state, the machine may depend on human-provided inputs (also non-renewables). A process state is transitional due to various parallel successions that might interact or might be necessarily isolated (e.g. due to extreme water or soil conditions). During the yield state (i.e. climax) the machine runs entirely on the basis of renewable resources and provides a mininum amount of entropy (or: a maximum amount of dissipative structures).

A landscape machine needs to be ‘grown’ rather then produced.

What was mentioned in the first publication and will be clarified in the upcoming paper in November 2012, is the human relationship with the landscape machine. One could expect that a landscape machine could be very large and yet only managed by relatively few human beings. This impression is too much in contrast with our philosophical position that human beings are part of nature. In the prior publication the quality of the human involvement was related to a ‘future sublime’, meaning an aesthetic interaction that is challenging instead of conforming to familiar standards of beautification. This interpretation was referring to self-initiated learning, multisensory experiences and involvement by both physical and technological yield methods. In thermal dynamic language this can be referred to as a ‘social-experiential resource’.