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For a long time, the central Piet Soer square in the village of Havelte was perceived being the least attractive public space in the area. The square had an unpleasant atmosphere due to the lack of green, dead trees, a lack of sitting areas and a poor relationship between the buildings and the public space. In 2012 local inhabitants initiated a project for renewal of the village, including a total make over of this square.  


In a participative planning process a design was made for a complete make over of the square. General incentives of the design are to limit the impact of car traffic on the space and to make the square four times greener. The centre of the square is transformed from a road into an intimate and lush space surrounded by a large variety of trees and perennial planting. The planting rests on slightly sloping land forms referring to the pushmoraine geology in the surroundings of the village. This is encapsulated by a nature stone sitting edge creating a robust boundary between the sitting areas and the traffic spaces at the southern part of the square.

Next to this, the story of the place is being told in a new way. Piet Soer was a renowned pioneering aircraft pilot for theRoyal Dutch Airlines back in 1932. He became world famous are completing a flight to the former Dutch Indonesian colonies in a world record time. On the square the map of his flight route is incorporated in the pavement. By this the square has a cultural historical narrative as well.

Year: design 2017-2019
Type: public space design, participative planning
Client: municipality of Westerveld
Size: 11.500 m2
Status: construction completed in May 2019
Partners: inhabitants of Havelte, Citeg
Photography: Nadine van den Berg (except for aerial picture)