These derelict Rotterdam train tracks are being made over into a luscious green airpark!

Sitting six metres above street level, the narrowest and longest roof park in the Netherlands is being designed in Rotterdam. According to urban research and design company De Urbanisten, the new expansion of Hofbogenpark “will soon invite you to walk at height in a colourful and fragrant landscape.”

De Urbanisten presented concept renderings of the park, made in collaboration with DS Landschaparchitecten and De Dakdokters. The concept has been given the green light.

One of several renderings from the design presentation, showing the future perspective of the park. Image: De Urbanisten, Lanschapsarchitecten, De Dakdokters/supplied

The division will unite

Constructed on the old Hofplein rail line, which forms a physical boundary from Rotterdam Noord, this long-standing division will bring people together. The old train tracks will route visitors through the diverse landscapes of the park, connecting various neighbourhoods in the area.

A report from architechtenweb explains that the airpark will offer space for walking, relaxing, grabbing a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, and even community gardening. Hofbogenpark will have several entrances and be accessible via the old train stations. 

Convenient access via train platforms. Image: De Urbanisten, Lanschapsarchitecten, De Dakdokters/supplied

Sustainable design

The plans include a circular water system, which provides a climate-adaptive approach to storing and using water. With the help of vegetation and ground passages, water is purified and dispersed and among the roof plants, water play areas, and existing urban agriculture.

The park’s plant life helps absorb CO₂ and provides important cooling, in addition to animal shelter. The innovative design takes into consideration the native wildlife, providing habitat and safe routes for local birds, toads, and hedgehogs. 

Planning for cohesion with nature. Image: De Urbanisten, Lanschapsarchitecten, De Dakdokters/supplied

The skinny

The park can be compared to similar statuesque models such as the New York’s High Line Park and the Promenade Plantée in Paris, but with just one very narrow difference. While these parks both measure around 15 metres wide, Hofbogenpark is set to be built on a railway viaduct just eight metres wide, only six of which can be used as park.

What Hofbogenpark lacks in width it makes up for in length. Image: De Urbanisten, Lanschapsarchitecten, De Dakdokters/supplied

Read more | The narrowest house in Amsterdam: everything you need to know

The sketch design for the extensive multi-use park will be completed in the first quarter of 2021, with construction planned for completion in 2024. Design details and objectives will be made in consultation with area residents and business owners.

What do you think of the plans for Rotterdam’s Hofbogenpark? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: De Urbanisten, Lanschapsarchitecten, De Dakdokters/supplied
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2020, and was fully updated in June 2021 for your reading pleasure.

Brin Andrews
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

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