4.2 City garden Kempkensberg

(photo: Maartje Henket)

The garden of the government office Kempkensberg in Groningen is not only there to enjoy for the approximately 3,000 employees of the Education Executive Agency and Regional Tax Office, but for all the people in the city. Covering an area of 25,000 m2, largely atop an underground car park, it is an exceptionally large roof garden. This garden was created in such a way that it forms a biotope matching the ecology of the adjacent green areas Sterrebos and Helperzoom. Consultancy Arup conducted wind studies to find out what nuisances the new building could cause for people, but also for the birds and bats that live in the area. For that reason, 3-metre high, planted screens were designed. These screens were radially placed from the main building towards the countryside. A vegetation mantle encloses the intensively planted gardens around the building. It consists of a thicket of young oak trees that will eventually replace the existing old trees. This way, the visual integration with the ancient Sterrebos will also be maintained in the long run. Moreover, it strengthens the migratory routes for bats living in the area. Right through the garden, a route was designed for dragonflies and butterflies, species that prefer open, flowery vegetation. In the wake of the many insects, and for the seeds and fruits it provides, the birds have also come to the City Garden. The mantle provides good shelter; the multi-trunk trees in the middle still need to grow a little.

-Groningen (NL) 2013

-Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects

more info: Lodewijk Baljon Landschapsarchitecten