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Dokkum Market Square

redesign public space market square
Hanneke Kijne
Jonas Strous
Enno Zuidema
Birthe Leemeijer
municipality of Dongeradeel
ca. 5500 m2
Square, street and quay
Year of design:
Photography / illustration:
Luuk Kramer

Part of the Cultural Capital
HOSPER was asked by the municipality of Dongeradeel to make a design for the redesign of the Market. The reason for this was the declaration of Leeuwarden-Fryslân as Cultural Capital of Europe 2018. As part of the activities, the Frisian 11 cities of the Elfstedentocht - eleven cities ice-skating tour - have been connected by the sparkling water of 11 fountains.

An ice fountain designed by the artist Birthe Leemeijer was created for the Markt in Dokkum. This ice fountain, with its innovative way of making ice, connects Boniface, the Elfstedentocht and climate change. However, at the time, the primary proposal for the installation of this ice fountain on the market in Dokkum also resulted in a degree of social unrest. In light of this the municipality chose to have a new but broad-based design drawn up for the market (including the ice fountain).

Broad-based design
A broad-based design has been made for this important and highly layered historical space. HOSPER produced insightful models that illustrate the possible design scenarios. These models were discussed in both the Mienskipkommisje and public information meetings. The starting point was an integral plan in which the many historical elements of this place come into their own and that at the same time forms a natural platform for all kinds of activities as well as the planned ice fountain.

The Boniface terp
The former Boniface terp - Boniface mound - has being restored as a spatial experience. The mound is constructed as a visibly raised surface, with 50cm height difference along the edges so that trees can grow on them without disturbing the archaeological soil below. The square has been given a greener layout with grass surfaces and trees. On the square the contours of the former abbey church have been made visible in the paving and erected walls of kloostermoppen bricks, giving a self-evident privacy to the new terrace area.

Material and furniture
The pavement on the mound is formed by large rectangular granite tiles, referring to the historic gravestones of the graves that are under the market. There is a subtle distinction between the largely paved top square in front of the church, and the slightly downward curving northern part of the square where a combination of granite and grass has been used. The light grey-yellow colour of the used granite is inspired by the soil layers from which the mound is constructed and gives the square a warm and park-like atmosphere together with the grass. The ice fountain has a central position on the square and is surrounded by trees, among which a number of pin oaks - Quercus palustris -, which offer shade and seclusion.

At various places on the square there are benches with preserved bamboo wooden seats and sunken line lighting. The size of the benches is derived from the recorded small tombs found on the market. There is space for 28 parking spaces on the north side of the market. The houses on the market will have a pavement zone in front of the façade, as is customary in the city centre of Dokkum.