New centre for Zevenbergen: To breathe new life into the town centre around the historic port, clay paving bricks were used, a construction material that creates an authentic connection between the modern and the rustic.
An authentic place for spending time on historical ground
For many centuries, the Dutch town of Zevenbergen had its own port. In the 1970s, however, it became less important and was forced to make way for shopping centres, car parks and multi-purpose spaces. The canal was filled in and disappeared from the map along with the port for several decades. But then, around the year 2000, local politicians and businesses began to take an interest in the town centre once more: They drew up plans for reopening the canal and posed the question of how the area around the former port could be redesigned.
One important factor was to ensure water supply, and an additional aim was for the town centre to become a lively place for passing time in the Old Town once again, so that people could hang out in cafés, attend events or simply enjoy strolling by the water. In the end, the repaving of the port and the adjacent squares became an essential part of this successful revitalization: The paving of the squares and the five bridges over the canal structured the space and created an attractive atmosphere.
Patterns to provide bearings
Two different paving bricks in several shapes and different patterns were used. The market square was paved in a herringbone pattern using multicolour Terca Auraton paving bricks, which reveal their uniformity when used in bulk. Wide, red-white strips made of single-colour Bruno paving stones run through the square and along the lateral edges and cross diagonally through the market square. They lead to a smaller square near the water, where alternating rows of bricks, some narrower and some wider, have been laid to form a straight running bond. Here too, white-red strips of paving cross through the pattern and lead visitors toward the port, where wide natural stone stairways with paved landings guide them further to the marina.
On the other side of the canal, along the promenade, single-colour paving areas indicate the car park and differentiate between pedestrian and vehicle lanes using different colours. More than 1.5 million paving bricks were laid in the redesign of the harbour quay and market in Zevenbergen. Today the squares and promenade around the old port provide an exquisite place for residents and visitors to spend their time, while also bringing the town’s history of back into the centre of life in the town.
Facts & Figures
Project name: Market and Port in Zevenbergen, The Netherlands