Swanla triangle

  • Suburban
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Management
Zuidplas | The Netherlands

How can we best integrate a new residential area with a green environment? The green neighbourhood, largely executed in wood, invites a different way of living together, with the green outdoor space encouraging encounters between residents and bringing nature right into the home.

Client: Synchroon
Year: 2019 – until now
Partner: Municipality of Zuidplas, WaalPartners & Parallel
Status: In development
Type: Urban plan, development plan & vision
Location: Zevenhuizen, Zuidplas
Surface area: 31.200 m2 BVO
Program: 212 houses (123 ground-level houses, 89 flats)
Urban planning: ECHO Urban Design
Landscape design: ECHO Urban Design
Architecture: Architectuur Maken


We find our inspiration in the rural character of the area. The polder woods, tree-lined avenues, long ditches with green banks and a diversity of herbs and grasses. Together with Architectuur Maken, we sought a soft transition between the landscape and the houses, with the gardens and buildings forming part of the district’s continuous green image.

The position of the residential area on the edge of Zevenhuizen

A new village periphery

Our plan gives the northern village edge of Zevenhuizen in the Zuidplaspolder an attractive appearance and makes a gentle transition to the open polder. The neighbourhood opens up to the surrounding landscape with a central, wedge-shaped public park offering space for sports and games. The residential neighbourhoods and sports fields surround this as rooms. The area, once intended as an expansion site for greenhouses, will receive a quality boost from which the whole of Zevenhuizen will benefit with the housing and public green spaces.

The landscape edges

The lines of the reclamation

Small-scale neighbourhoods as green rooms

Central park as a connector

Sketch of the public park and veranda houses
The public park lies as a green wedge between the houses

Living in Forest

The 212 homes feature a mix of different typologies inspired by the immediate surroundings and accessed from the landscaped park. The first subplan is Forest, with 29 timber-framed homes.

Together with Synchroon, a concept was sought in which all homes benefit from the greenery. They therefore face the various landscape identities. The houses on the park canal, for example, have a veranda at the front that makes direct contact with the public greenery.

In the landscape, variation is sought in different identities. By working with local species, the park builds on the qualities of the surroundings. Natural banks and denser bushes contribute to the ecological value of the green area. Paving will be kept to a minimum. De Slinger, a shared-space route connecting the sports park to the village, runs through the entire area. Informal meandering paths run between the greenery to the neighbourhood. Closer to the houses are an informal yard and a neighbourhood garden where residents can meet and children can play safely.

Public space development plan

Landscape undulating

Light height differences create a diverse park image

Landscape open

Open spaces among the trees provide space for playing and meeting informally

Accessible banks

In a few places there is the possibility to reach the water for playing and sunbathing

Natural bank

The other banks are designed as natural as possible with a space for denser bank planting

The Garland

The central route through the park is an identity carrier to the entire area

The Strolling Paths

Informal routes through the grassy landscape to indicate where residents and walkers intersect

The joint planting border

Between the houses, there are borders with raised bands. These can be arranged by the residents themselves

The park edge

The greenery creeps up through the houses for the greenest possible park image

Row houses accompany the landscape lines
Polder nature as an experience and a place to play in
The residential area features a diversity of typologies: terraced houses, flats, semi-detached houses and some detached houses


Abel will be happy to tell you about it.