Dry Dock Park | Antwerp Belgium | cluster landschap


Today, the area composed by the former dry docks, on the northern side of the city of Antwerp, forms an urban void between the historical city center and the harbor. The City of Antwerp wants to transform the old harbor complex into an urban landscape-park respecting the original dry dock infrastructure as well as the existing tide.

The project consists of a large terraced dike that gradually slopes down to the river Scheldt. All the terraces have different heights, and they will be all alternately flooded following the fluctuation of natural tide. Thus, an interesting differentiation of ecological environmental conditions appears, offering opportunities for diverse recreation facilities; from an ecological park of tidal marsh, shell farming, sheep meadows to saline agriculture.



The dry docks park forms a small-scale polder landscape, meeting the specific conditions of the river system whilst at the same time, functioning as an urban garden where people can recreate. The inner side of the terraced dike is designed as an extended public service building, with a public façade to the old dry docks. The terraced dike is a coherent framework composed of small low dikes and walls, functioning as one strong infrastructural complex in favor of recreation. The fields in between the dry dock structure will be left to either take its natural ecological course, for aquaculture or agricultural production.Cluster_Dry-Dock-Park_5


The design for the dry docks Park is exemplary for the 21st century: it demonstrates the relationship between urban society and nature, and between city and landscape. Dealing with the industrial harbor relicts of the 19th and 20th century dry docks, this area gains a new role as urban park. The river Scheldt and the great views it offers, give the park a completely new appearance. In Antwerp, most parks are based upon an old-fashioned “bourgeois” view of how the city should look and be used. This park however, is based on a new vision which brings together an urban park with an ecological value near the city, small-scale agriculture, and the historical and cultural heritage of the harbor.



Dry Dock Park | Antwerp Belgium | cluster landschap

IMAGE AND TEXT : cluster landschap









About Damian Holmes 3314 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/