The central Piet Soer square in the village of Havelte was long perceived as the most unattractive 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 an upgrade of the village, including this square.
In a participative planning process a design was made for a complete make over of the square. The plan aims 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 push-moraine 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 the Royal Dutch Airlines back in 1932. He became world famous when 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
Client: municipality of Westerveld
Size: 11.500 m2
Status: constructed, opened May 2019
Partners: Dorpsgemeenschap Havelte, Citeg
Photography: Nadine van den Berg