period of design:
2003 - 2010
new country estates in a historical context
ít Welna makes up the core of the Voortmanshoek area in the northern urban periphery of Enschede. Aside from the manor house ít Welna (Karel Muller, 1906) which is a nationally listed building, it also stretches across 26,5 hectares of park woods, orchard, gardens and meadows. Trebbe Bouw and Woningstichting Ons Huis [housing foundation] who are the property owners of the area, are aspiring to develop a coherent country estate zone; to preserve and to reconstruct ít Welna and to establish 3 new country estates which could fall in line with the Estates Act. In addition, the Municipality of Enschede wants to make the area more accessible and to give it a renewed significance as a recreational area for the city.
In 2003 MTD landschapsarchitecten was commissioned by the initiators to draw up a development and management plan for Voortmanshoek which would form the basis of an agreement with the municipality, as was eventually concluded in 2010.
The first intervention incorporated in the development plan was the strengthening of the coherence between the altitude, the hydrological regime and the soil on the one hand, and the vegetation and intensity of the ground use in the area on the other hand. In the first instance this is reflected in the hydrological regime; the idea is directed at keeping the water in the area for much longer and making it more visible by raising the soil level and lowering the slopes of the stream that flows through ’t Welna and Bolhaarbeek. On the western side of the area a retention basin would be created which will provide for extra water storage capacity. These lower-lying open stream valleys will be extensively managed and developed as rugged grassland.
The second intervention incorporated in the development plan was the tackling of overdue forest maintenance, in which types that don’t belong in the area would be removed and an afforestation of young plants would take place. Furthermore, new woods have been introduced at a number of places.
As far as possible the new country houses are situated on the higher grounds and on traditional residential spots in the area, and are surrounded by existing woods and new afforestation. From the green rooms thus created, the lines of sight will be enhanced and kept open onto the open stream valleys.
The country houses are accessed via two new driveways; the one runs from Oldenzaalsestraat to access ’t Welna and ’t Engelse Werk and the other runs from Voortsweg to access ’t Voortman and ‘t Amelinksbos. Entrance gates mark the driveways and the private access roads and private grounds of the country estates located here. Bordering directly onto the country houses are hedges enclosing the gardens, vegetable gardens and an orchard. At ’t Welna a new pond has also been introduced which ties in with the boulder clay and wet situation present in the soil. It plays a role in the lines of sight from ‘t Welna and ’t Engelse Werk.