The N206 ir. G. Tjalmaweg, designed by architectural studio ZJA and BoschSlabbers landscape architects, has been shortlisted for the Rhineland Architecture Prize, along with another eight unique projects in the Leiden region. The Tjalmaweg, which connects Leiden with Katwijk and is part of the RijnlandRoute, is more than just an improved traffic artery. It is a green connection that has been carefully integrated into the surrounding landscape. At the same time, the road pays tribute to the region’s rich Roman past. As well as a prize from the professional jury, there is also a prize awarded by the public, and voting opens today. The winners will be announced on 11 October.
A green road with a Roman past
Michel Heesen, project architect at ZJA, says, ‘The Tjalmaweg is not just a green road, it’s a journey through time. Along the route where the Roman Limes once ran, a wonderful new connection now delights the eye. This project reminds us of our Roman past, but it also demonstrates a sustainable vision of the future. The design of the new road places a strong emphasis on circularity and seamless integration into the landscape, and offers a green experience for road users and local residents. We are pleased and extremely proud to have this nomination.’
Chair of the Rhineland Architecture Prize jury on the Tjalmaweg
Chair of the jury, architect Ton Venhoeven, says, ‘The shortlist shows that architecture is not just about buildings but about everything that gives shape to the physical environment. An outstanding example of this is the Tjalmaweg, where technical innovations and attention to public opinion and the integration of a challenging assignment have produced a road that has widespread support and serves as a shining example.’
Sustainable and Green
The Tjalmaweg embraces sustainability by the use of recycled materials and wooden slatted walls in the sunken road that are planted with ivy, clematis, wild honeysuckle and Virginia creeper. This luxuriant greenery presents a colourful spectacle not just in summer but even in winter. Furthermore, a lot of attention has been paid to the minimalization of concrete, to the sustainable use of timber and to the reuse of materials. Biocomposite with grass as its most important component is used for the planking and the street furniture under the Torenvliet Bridge.
Walking and cycling
Along the Tjalmaweg is now a broad cycle path that forms the missing link in the new bicycle superhighway between Leiden and Katwijk. This cycle path largely winds through a newly laid out strip of parkland, a green oasis between residential districts and the redesigned Tjalmaweg. It provides not just a safe and fast cycle route but a carefully designed natural environment for recreation, meetings and biodiversity. Part of the strip of parkland has been sown with a diverse and colourful mixture of flowers, while five insect hotels support a sustainable ecosystem. Furthermore, the banks and watercourses are meticulously lined with plants that benefit and protect the local flora and fauna. This approach not only improves mobility but enriches the quality of the lived environment.
Tribute to the Roman Limes
The Tjalmaweg follows the historic route of the old Roman Limes, once the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. As a tribute to this rich past, several Roman excavations have been integrated into the project. Part of the original Roman road has been reconstructed, and original oak posts, once part of the foundations of the Roman road, will be displayed behind glass in the bicycle tunnel. The viaducts that connect Valkenburg with the future residential district Valkenhorst have been given Roman names: Praetorium Agrippinae and De Castra.
Vote for the Rhineland Architecture Prize’s public award
The Rhineland Architecture Prize is intended to recognize and celebrate innovative and inspiring architecture in the Leiden area. The prize stresses the importance of architecture in the design of the lived environment and stimulates creative and sustainable projects.
You can now vote for the public award on the website: Architectuurprijs - RAP Leiden.
The N206 ir. G. Tjalmaweg, part of the RijnlandRoute, was built by Boskalis Nederland and commissioned by the province of South Holland. For more information about the building of the N206 ir. G. Tjalmaweg and the RijnlandRoute, visit https://rijnlandroute.nl/