The residents chose the road surface themselves, and they left the mark of their identity on the road. The mixture of clay pavers on the main square in Volendam reflects the culture of the town.
Mixture of paving bricks to reflect the culture
The fisherman’s village of Volendam, with 22,000 inhabitants in the vicinity of Amsterdam, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Its central market square and main square, Europaplein, was to be refurbished and repaved. The residents were consulted when searching for a paving mixture. Four sample segments were laid on a trial basis, and then a vote was held.
The residents and the town decided on, what would later be called, the Volendam mixture, consisting mainly of red clay pavers interspersed with a few yellow and anthracite-coloured pavers to create a pattern that is also found on the traditional skirts worn by the women of Volendam. In combination with the adjacent buildings in Europaplein, the overall image is convincing. The paving mix was well received, and shortly thereafter it was laid in two more streets.
Calling card in the paving
Public spaces are regarded as the calling card of a local community: “Apart from the appearance of the buildings, an appealing, well-kept environment for residents and visitors is important,” says Jan Erik de Haan, Project Leader for Civil Engineering in the Edam-Volendam Municipality. “That is why, since 2013 we have been consciously working to improve the quality of public spaces in Edam and Volendam. Of course, pavements are an important part of this.”
In the adjacent town of Edam, also part of the Municipality of Volendam, streets were paved with the same mix of bricks in a somewhat modified form. The personality and quality of these small towns were carefully considered when searching for the proper combination of bricks. The aim was to incorporate the strong identity and rich history into the appearance of the public space, and this was successfully achieved: The newly paved streets in Edam-Volendam blend in seamlessly with the atmosphere and identity of the historical streets.
Facts & Figures
Project name: Refurbishment of the centre, Volendam, The Netherlands