Buro Lubbers is a design studio for landscape architecture, urban development and the design of public space. Since 1993 the studio has been designing projects at all scale levels, for both private and public commissioners. The studio’s projects are characterised by a multidisciplinary approach, innovative expertise, sharp analysis, a sturdy and poetic expression and a critical eye for detail. An enthusiastic team takes care of a total product, from research to preservation.
Analysis, concept, design and expertise. These are the instruments to master the landscape and urban assignments, from the early beginning to the final detail. In the phase of analysis each new assignment is reduced to its essentials. What exactly is the question of the commissioner? What is the heart of the matter? Then the assignment is approached in relation to its environment: the genius loci. At all scale levels the specific qualities of a place are carefully mapped and analysed from a multidisciplinary point of view. Threats and weaknesses are transformed into opportunities and strengths. The results of this integrating and contextualising strategy are surprising concepts which in their seemingly simplicity create a clear and firm identity. Subsequently, the design is based on a coherent and strong environmental framework, which leaves room for effortless adaptations in time. The studio aspires a green image. Whether it is a landscape or urban assignment, the green structure always is the basis of the plan. Furthermore, at every stage of the design process attention is given to details, control aspects and the use of materials. Practical realisation and sustainability are always the main subject.
Buro Lubbers realises a wide scheme of projects. Many different clients, like developers, city councils and other institutions, as well as housing corporations, agencies and private clients repeatedly provide new challenges. These challenges vary from development strategies to designing public space; from urban planning to small scale architecture. The studio has designed large landscapes, residential areas, city centres, squares, parks, gardens and so on.
The projects of Buro Lubbers are inspired by the specific qualities of the landscape, such as typical changes in altitude levels, soil and water, flora and fauna, cultural history, urban structures etc. On the premises that (cultural) landscape is already continuously changing, these qualities motivate new transformations. The aim is to realise dwelling, working and recreational environments that carefully relate to the characteristics of the place, implying that built structures are confronted with the landscape. This interaction leads to unique projects showing a balanced concentration of landscape and architecture, collective public spaces, accurate transitions between private and public space and vegetation that contributes to the identity of the place. The language of forms and the use of materials by Buro Lubbers can be described as tough and robust, durable and timeless, powerful and simple. Sober means result into poetic and functional spaces that invite the public to meet and greet.
The multidisciplinary team consists of landscape-architects, urban planners, architects, technical designers and graphic designers. These professionals have a thorough command to proceed from assignment to realisation: research, design, visualisation, presentation, technical work out, calculation, supervision and management. A constructive dialogue between the designers, the commissioner and other parties is continually in the centre of attention. Buro Lubbers increasingly fulfils the role of supervisor, that directs the totality of the plan from urban development to housing and the design of public space.
In the Netherlands, the view from the highway is dominated by a large variety of sound barriers. The design and materialization of these ambiguous interventions often lack any landscape or architectural quality and the barriers rarely relate to the world lying behind. However, Buro Lubbers developed an innovative concept to counter the noise of the A58 highway. In Boschkens the façades of 170 houses function as a noise reducing barrier. Usually the houses stand behind the barrier; here the houses are the barrier. The result is a landmark of more than 700 meters long and 14 meters high. The concept, based on specific features of the landscape, connects the highway in the north and the forest in the south. How? First, by folding the landscape, which creates all spatial, ecological, hydraulic and traffic conditions for a residential area. Second, by sloping the noise barrier with 5%, thereby creating space towards the highway as well as a sheltered location for housing. The security zone between the highway and the noise reducing barrier is designed as an ecological zone with solitary trees, water storage and infiltration zones, high and low grass and herb strips. The enormous containers with pines announce the forest lying behind the façade. They also interact with the lineair structure of the façades. Especially at night, when the coloured light stripes in the façade wrap the trees in an almost fairytale-like atmosphere. The characteristic architecture, the coloured lights, the pine containers and the nature area turned Boschkens into an icon, that shows noise barriers can be beautiful and add meaning to a place.
Location: Goirle, Netherlands
Area: 720m noise barrier, landscape: 10.500 m2
Landscape Design: Buro Lubbers
In co-operation with: Concire Conceptdevelopment, Crepain-Binst Architecture
Commissioner: Bouwfonds Ontwikkeling BV Regio Zuid
prizes/ nominations: first prize design competition
Since some years the city of Venlo has been working on a major renovation of the urban zone between the inner city and the banks of Meuse river. Through redevelopment the city is given a boost and a representative face at the river, where it once was turned away from the water front. Buro Lubbers designed an integrated redevelopment plan for Venlo on the Meuse and designed different public spaces. Special attention is paid to creating a smooth transition of the historic centre to the new waterfront district. The link is the quay. Over a length of one kilometer the quay marks the size of the old city along the Meuse. Composed of 3,300 m2 broken Belgian limestone the rugged embankment is a solid foundation for buildings on three different levels. The lowest level, at the head of the basin, is formed by steps leading towards the water. It also leads to a peninsula park with slopes of grass and basalt where the Meuse has free play during the seasons. The city centre, behind the quay, dates back to medieval times and has a sober design. Within the uniform pavement of baked bricks in a restrained colour, variation is applied depending on the function and atmosphere of the place, hereby creating unity in the city centre. South of the city centre new public functions (city hall, heath care…) have arised for which Buro Lubbers designed the public space. All interventions together, from the new waterfront to the old center, present Venlo as a unified identity at Meuse river. The project shows Buro Lubbers masters all levels of landscape architecture, from strategy to design at a detailed level.
Location: Venlo, Netherlands
Commissioner: Municipality Venlo
Landscape Design: Buro Lubbers
A stunning intervention of Buro Lubbers reconnects the Meuse river and the centre of the old Roman village of Cuijk. Inspired by the scale and atmosphere of the river, the studio designed a multifunctional waterfront thereby creating a new tourist and recreational attraction. The sturdy wall of steel links the village and the river. By banking the wall 10%, by seemingly bulking it out of the river bank, both land and water obtain more space. Downstairs at the waterfront the river apparently wins territory, while on the boulevard visitors experience a fluent and spatial transition between town and landscape. The connection between both worlds consist of an underpass of the dike and a combination of ramps and stairs via which one can slowly descend to the water. The quay itself is leveled and designed as a plateau of stelcon plates with border lines of corten steel and drawings showing the contours of Roman archaeological finds. Along the waterfront wooden platforms with furniture offer great views. The dam has the capacity to face a water level of +15.00 NAP. The possibility of high water determined its design. The ramps and stairs are constructed in such a way, that the pressure and aspiration of the water does not damage their construction and they do not form obstacles in the river´s stream. Other elements, like the wooden platforms, are detachable so they can be removed at high tides. While Cuijk is protected against the unpredictable Meuse in the stormy weather of these days, the Dutch river landscape gained an explicit landmark.
Location: Cuxijk, Netherlands
Area: 1,1 ha
Landscape Design: Buro Lubbers
Commissioner: Municipality of Cuijk
Versatility guided the principles for the Mathilde Square. The square had to add value to the series of public squares and places in Eindhoven’s inner city, it had to showcase the monumental Light Tower and the semi-public square needed to host different functions. Mathilde Square was a challenge not only in terms of its design and urban integration, but also in its demand for technical finesse. Located on the concrete deck of a parking garage, there was little space between deck and ground level for drainage, the paving and other engineering structures. Despite these conditions an ingenious drainage system of labyrinth drip hoses and a keen lay-out of planters and tiles are realised which add up to the overall quality of the square. The amorphous form of the area demanded a strict structure. Therefore the design is based on rigid lines that run counter to the building. A feel of human scale is the result. Unity is kept by using consistent shapes and materials: a dark gray concrete slab, robust Corten steel planters, warm looking wooden benches. The most striking role is played by the vegetation: ever green, seasonal flowers and colourful accents. A pergola overgrown by wisteria and roses offers passersby a transparent glimpse of the tranquil, green atmosphere. Once a parking, the Mathildeplein is now one of Eindhoven’s hot spots. Here one can quietly enjoy a drink on a terrace or sit down on a bench among lush plants to escape downtown hustle and bustle.
Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Area: 5.500 m2
Landscape Design: Buro Lubbers
Commissioner: DNC vastgoedontwikkeling, Woningstichting Trudo
Monnikenhuizen is located on the former grounds of football club Vitesse. The terrain located on a slope between two country estates – a unique situation for the Netherlands – has been transformed into a distinctive green housing environment. The undulating terrain and woods were an unprecedented asset and gave the opportunity to create a residential area with a specific relationship with its surroundings. On 6,5 hectare 204 dwellings are built in a mixture of apartments, terraced houses and detached houses. Despite the density the green character of the place is maintained and interwoven with the urban structure. Landscape and natural elements are incorporated into the streetscape in a consistent manner, without frills. The existing landscape was leading for the urban plan, architecture and public space. The natural topography, with differences in elevation of up to 24 metres, was the main starting point in the landscape design. To overcome these height differences gabions are applied. Originally used in its function of holding back lose ground the gabions became the leitmotif of Monnikenhuizen. In dialog with the architects the gabions were integrated in the substructure of several houses, and used in defining the transition of public and private space. The gabions provide unity as well as a strong cohesive identity. The same effect is reached by the water system that is integrated in the architecture as well as the vegetation.
Location: Arnhem, Netherlands
Area: 6,5 ha
Landscape Design: Buro Lubbers
Commissioner: Johan Matser project development
In corporation with: S.V. Khandekar, Atelier Z, Meyer en Van Schoten Architecten, Van de Looi en Jacobs Architecten en Vera Yanovshtchinsky Architecten
prizes/ nominations: OAP 2002, Heuvelinkprijs 2002, Neprom voor Locatieontwikkeling 2004