Elswout

One of the pearls in the necklace of country estates

Strootman and Fennema advies have come up with several development options for the future of Elswout as a first step towards a master plan elaborating the vision for the management, use and running of the estate.

Location

Overveen, Noord-Holland

Principal

Staatsbosbeheer regio west

Partners

Fennema advies

Surface Area

85 ha

Design Year

2014

Elswout is one of the pearls in the necklace of country estates in the dunes. It is popular with hikers from the Haarlem and Amsterdam region, has considerable ecological significance, and has great monumental value because of its historical stratification. That monumentality has decreased dramatically as a result of the lack of maintenance of the vegetation, paths, furniture, fences and buildings, several of which are standing empty. There is currently no integral vision for the complex, so opportunities for the utilisation of buildings are not seized optimally.

Strootman and Fennema advies have come up with several development options for the future of Elswout as a first step towards a master plan elaborating the vision for the management, use and running of the estate. The range of possible futures is charted on the basis of three scenarios with a rough estimate of running expenses. ‘Existing’ is a minimal intervention to guarantee the continuity of the estate and to conserve its cultural historical and ecological values. ‘Utilising’ puts the emphasis on the organisation of a fully operating estate within the cultural historical and ecological parameters. ‘Excelling’ is a celebration of Elswout in all its glory. Besides safeguarding the cultural historical values, it envisages an integral design for the park with room for the reintroduction of elements from the past that have disappeared and the introduction of refined (haute couture) garden features.

Exploration of the extremes reveals where the essential choices lie and what the consequences the optimisation of one ambition has for a different ambition, and thus which ambitions can be combined and which cannot. In the end it helps to make a well-considered choice for the course to follow for the future of Elswout. That course will then be elaborated in a master plan.

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