Well-being on the Dollard
I actually do not come from anywhere. I was born in Germany, but hold Swedish nationality. I grew up in Luxembourg, but that is not home for me. The places where countries merge into each other are often not the places ‘where it’s all happening’. Nevertheless, the border holds an attraction for me. What happens on that line? Does something like a border mentality exist among the people who live there? Are there two regions on both sides of the border or is there a border region with its own identity?
My assignment revolves around the question of which spatial concepts could bring the two countries together more strongly. I went in search of which qualities and strengths that might share. How can they reinforce each other? I would like to see the physical environment contribute to a healthy, thriving and social Eems Dollard region in which the local population are the main focus. Which physical adjustments and/or interventions will stimulate common economic opportunities and strengthen the image of the region? How can I stimulate an alternative economy in a region that is dependent on a manufacturing industry that is under intense pressure?
Healthcare, recreation and wellness
Healthcare, recreation and wellness form the basis for my concept ‘Well-being on the Dollard’. By improving the accessibility and developing facilities at the right places, the foundation will be created for a region that works together across borders. The region will present and develop itself as a healthy region in various ways. The region will not only become more coherent spatially, but also in a programmatic sense. The places can benefit more from each other and complement each other. For example, patients from the new hospital in Blauwestad can be referred to the new spa on the border to rehabilitate.
The concept ‘Well-being on the Dollard’ will be tried out in three places: Blauwestad, Bad Nieuweschans and Weener. I have made three designs for those places. Blauwestad will become a place that cares for its environment: there will be a new regional hospital and a care hotel. In addition, Blauwestad will be better connected with Winschoten, as a result of which Blauwestad will become more interesting for recreational joint use. The existing spa of Bad Nieuweschans will be expanded in the Dollard. The connection between the existing and new spa will be more exciting, as a result of which the village will benefit more from the surrounding landscape. The border will function as an inviting park instead of a barrier. Weener will benefit from health tourism: there will also be an eye clinic at the edge of the old harbour. As a result of these and two other improvements in the public space, Weener will have a stronger band with the river. The town will more interesting and liveable for recreational users and citizens.
Commission members: Miranda Reitsma (mentor), Jandirk Hoekstra, Mark Eker. Additional members for the exam: Enno Zuidema, Ingeborg Thoral.