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The Waal together with the other riviers shaped the Dutch landscape as it is now and how we are using it. The Waal is the main transporter of water in the Netherlands, it also functions as a route for transporting goods from Germany to Rotterdam/Noordsea  and as a ecological corridor. 

This big importance that the Waal has on a national scale is lost in the regional scale. The Waal is a small corridor/ highway that is diked and where the water is transported to the sea as fast as possible with no connection to the innerland.


Meandering river

Diked river

Waal 2.0

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In the past the river was dynamic and moved from time to time sedimenting sand next to the river bed and when it flood the lower grounds where covered by the little sediments. The human lived on the higher grounds moving with the river.

To create a safe living, we started building dikes 1000 years ago to protect ourselves from the water. This creates a landscape that is fixed and controlled, where the river as no influence in the landscape anymore and we live behind it.

The Waal 2.0 adds a new layer to the river landscape, that breaks through the existing dike and reconnects the land behind the dike with the river again. It has more ecological values, produces energy, gives room to the river and puts villages in the river landscape.

Waal 2.0 Strategy

The Waal 2.0 is al slower version of the Waal 1.0 with adds more values to the river landscape. 

  • It puts villages in the river landscape again. On the Waal 1.0 they will have a new hard edge bumping into the power of river and on the other side a new front of housing will be created. 

  • It adds ecological values by making natural edges in the waterbed and creating more diversity in hights. Not only the Waal 2.0 will add these values but also the green river. This river floods at a the level of 3 NAP and has wetter vegatation.

  • On the points where the Waal 2.0 breaks though the dike energy will be generated for the surrounding villages. Here the usually safe element of the dike now becomes an unsafe moment where water goes through with high speed. 

  • The Waal 2.0 now touches the agricultural land behind. Here a natural multifuncional hill will be introduced to create a smooth transition to the land. Because the water comes closer, the land will become wetter. Therefor inlets will be created that let lower parts in the agricultral land flood and reconnect with the river.

  • Recreational routes will connect al the elements together and create diverse experiences that sometimes are unsafe and exicting. 


+2.0 NAP lowest average water level

+3.0 NAP 

+4.0 NAP 

+5.5 NAP water level januari 2018 

+8.0 NAP water level in 1993 and 1995

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Waal 2.0 landscape plan

In the landscape plan there are two experiences, the new living landscape and the existing dynamic floodplain. 

In the new living landscape Opijnen becomes an island where you can only enter over the energy bridge. The Waal 2.0 will attack Opijnen from the back, designed as a creek landscape that is drawn into the village. Opijnen will feel the water rising and the danger of the river again. Its protected by a floating barrier and a dike with houses on it. Also there are floating houses that move up and down with the water. On the front of the Waal 1.0 Opijnen will stick out and expierence the movement of the water. Here houses on the dike will be brought back and create a village on the river again.

The dynamic floodplain is more attached to the estate landscape inside the dikes. Here connections will be made that raise the barrier of the dike. Sightlines to important and interresting spots will be made and the path will guide you to it. This is an exiting route because sometimes you have to go thought wetlands and higher parts or even it is not accessible. You will have to deal with the power of the river. Here also floating houses are added in the griend forrest, where you experience living in the forest with the river.


Opijnen island

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