The Princess Beatrix lock complex is the Netherlands’ largest inland navigation lock system. Some 50,000 vessels pass through these locks each year. As part of the Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Waterways and Public Works) lock programme, the Beatrix lock at Nieuwegein will acquire an extra chamber and the Lekkanaal will be widened. Heritage plays an important role alongside the civil engineering work. This is because the Beatrix lock is situated in the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie area, and the current lock is also a national monument.

Construction of the new lock means that parts of the Waterlinie, such as casemates and the line dyke, will have to be relocated. Another project challenge was to achieve a consistent design and integration appropriate to the historical monumental character of the area and the existing buildings. It is of course the existing monumental lock which determines the design of the new lock chamber. Witteveen+Bos also drew up a plan to integrate the flood defence system into the landscape of the Waterlinie, by adding a wetland zone with reed marsh. The landscape plan ensures the high-quality design and integration of these components during the implementation phase.

In a multidisciplinary team including hydraulic engineers, ecologists and planners, the landscape architects at Witteveen+Bos worked on an integrated plan incorporating both the aesthetic and functional requirements of the design.

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