Francine Houben and her team Mecanoo have created a masterplan for the world’s largest man-made natural park

Mecanoo and their Founding Partner and Creative Director Francine Houben, who is also an IAA Professor, have created a masterplan for the world’s largest artificial nature park at Nieuw Land in the Netherlands.

The 29,000 hectares Nieuw Land National Park will be sited close to Amsterdam on the bottom of the former Zuiderzee, and will integrate four nature reserves to secure and protect the future of the National Park. Nieuw Land is primarily a bird reserve, with a lot of protected species attracted by the food supply and sheltered places for rest and breeding.

The project will expand the reserves and create islands, marshlands, creeks, wet grasslands and water links for a continuous park and ecosystem. New connections will also be made, so that visitors will be able to discover the park by bike, canoe, on foot or with an electric Jeep.

“Nieuw Land will be a new kind of national park, one in which visitor experience is central. The park will be an attractive and educational experience for all generations and will bring the city and nature closer together. It will feature many dikes, marshlands and reed landscapes, new islands, and even more flora and fauna – with space for rest, darkness to view the starry sky, wilderness, and adventure.” – Francine Houben.