Location: Gulpen, The Netherlands
Year: 2018 – 2021
Area: 2.360 m2
Team: Remko Remijnse, Agnese Argenti, Emanuele Saracino, Paula Geoghie, Nestor Ramos Martin, Pelle Rademakers, Elena Ciucarelli
Engineering: Platform Allround
Landscape: Snoek Puur Groen
Interior: RH Interieurs
Roof terrace: Zoontjes
Contractor: Peter Peters, Ten Brinke
In september 2021 Gulpen recreational park opens its doors for the first time, marking a new standard for recreational parks. The park is located in the Southern Limburg region which is known, among other things, for the hilly landscape, the local stone, the breweries and, in general, for the local culture and traditions, closer to Belgium and northern France compared with the rest of the Netherlands. All these distinctive characteristics have been integrated in the design of the park, from the point of view of both architecture, landscape design and interior. Gulpen recreational park can be mainly divided in two parts: the eastern part that hosts the main entrance, with main building and parking and a secluded forest-like environment with lodges scattered in the woods. The western part is entirely on the open slope of a big hill and hosts two kind of accommodations, some carved into the hill and some on the top of the hill as watchtowers. The principle behind this differentiation is that like this you can experience the park in completely different ways since the experience drastically changes if you change area or accommodation: you can relax in the shadow among the trees in a forest, you can enjoy the countryside life, you can have dinner on the restaurant terrace with a panoramic view across the Gulpen Valley or you can have the one time in life chance to stay in a house inside the hill with all comforts.
The main building of the park is designed and situated in such a way that on one hand be visually impressive for people who enter the park and on the other hand to be totally integrated in the landscape when arriving from the park itself. At a conceptual level the building is a concrete mass resting against the hill with a triangular pavilion laying on the top. The edge of the triangle volume at the first floor is perfectly aligned with the sight line from the entrance and to further emphasize the effect the top floor is made with dark materials, to contrast with the more massive concrete looking ground floor. The volume of the top pavilion has been designed according to best orientation for sun exposition and best possible view towards the valley. At the tip of the triangle there is a viewpoint that is publicly accessible.
The main building ground floor can be spatially divided in 3 areas: one big open space for the shop, reception and lobby, one for animation and one for workshop, storage and park services. The whole pavilion on the top is used for the restaurant, with full glass facades in all public areas to connect the outside to the inside.
The roof of the ground floor is meant to be used on the western part as terrace for the restaurant while the eastern part of the roof will be used for growing local fruits and vegetables.