Sustainable building in a UNESCO heritage monument

Bison code: L.28295

The former military airport Valkenburg in the Province Zuid-Holland is a development site for a housing project. Over 6000 new houses will be built in this area. Building in an area like this is challenging due to unexploded ordnance, soil contamination, the high groundwater table, the close distance to a Natura 2000 area and a groundwater protection area, etcetera.

The present-day village of Valkenburg is well known for the presence of a Roman fortress and Roman road marking the northern border of the Roman empire which both are part of a UNESCO world heritage monument. Both the road and fortress have been studied in great detail by excavations in the past. Therefore, it was a surprise when recently archaeologists uncovered part of a well preserved previously unknown fortress built by a Roman legion in the first century AD in the development area. Not only this fortress, but also remains of a village dating back to the Bronze Age (c. 1500 BC) in the development area came as a surprise. Within the development area, 7 hectares are allocated as archaeological monument.

The developer (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf) and the local municipality (Katwijk) want to use this heritage as an inspiration in the development of this housing project. The heritage can be used as the DNA in the project development. Comparable projects in the Netherlands can be found in Nijmegen Waalfront, Castellum De Meern and Matilo in Leiden, and define the sense of place which bring these housing projects to life.

In this project it is your task to come up with ideas and sketches for a sustainable implementation of this heritage in the built environment and public space. Anything goes, but an important goal is to include a design for a sustainable school building and surroundings which disturbs the heritage site as little as possible and is inspired by this heritage.

Cluster: The Future of the Past

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):