The A16 motorway as showcase for sustainable energy

Energy landscape A16-HSL

Energy landscape A16-HSL

Energy landscape A16-HSL

Energy landscape A16-HSL

Energy landscape A16-HSL

the essence

Energy boulevard A16: more than just wind

The province of Noord-Brabant is hoisting all sails to become energy neutral in 2050. Together with four municipalities, the province initiated a large scale wind power project along the A16 motorway and the HSL high speed railroad. The project fits the size and scale, as well as the technological look of the area.

Aspirations lie beyond just the construction of a wind park. The A16 zone is set to transform into an energy landscape of the future. Other forms of energy generation are developed here, and showcased for a wide audience. As such, the wind park is only a first step in the development of a proud energy boulevard that underlines Brabant’s core values: connectivity and innovation.

Plangebied energieboulevard A16

“The A16 could become the first motorway where the generation of energy charges car batteries instead of depleting fuel tanks.”

– Steven Slabbers, Partner BoschSlabbers


A landscape in three parts

The A16 / HSL corridor runs through ‘sea clay Brabant’ and ‘sandy Brabant’. The former is made up of sturdy sea clay polders; the latter shows a more organically grown mosaic of hamlets, creeks, brooks and old plantations.

‘Urban Brabant’ is the third part of the A16 zone. Here, the underlying landscape has been ‘overruled’ by urban sprawl. The urban silhouette, and all that is connected to it, determines the landscape, most noticeably by its visual energy.

A comprehensive vision

The challenge is to develop a clear and legible visual concept for the integration of sustainable forms of energy generation. The concept must take into account all legal constraints, but also tap into the landscape’s core qualities.

The energy landscape aims to become an icon for the new age. A first step in its development is a new wind park, fitting the structure of the A16 motorway. The energy landscape stretches from Hollands Diep in the west to Hazeldonk in the east. Across this entire stretch, the energy landscape needs to manifest itself. It has led to a comprehensive visual concept that aims for an energy landscape that is autonomous, legible, recognisable and flexible.

Landschap West-Brabant
the approach

Triangles, squares and honeycombs

Shaping and arranging the energy boulevard and its wind park could be done in numerous ways. BoschSlabbers has studied various options for the placement of at least 100MW of wind power. The result is a selection of promising alternatives, that each fit the overall concept in their own way. Configurations of wind turbines set up in triangles, squares and honeycombs are but a few of the constellations possible. In the end, eleven alternatives have been selected for an environmental impact survey (MER), and assessed on their spatial and visual merits.

Plaatsingsprincipe wolk

“At this scale level, the experiential difference between small and large turbines becomes negligible. Visualisation convinced residents of the area of the smart sense of higher turbines. Simply because less are needed, leaving more parts of the landscape unscathed.”

– Jan Van Minnebruggen, Partner and designer BoschSlabbers


A two-speed landscape

The arrival of the A16 wind park has an impact on both local and regional spatial quality. The assessment of this impact is highly determined by chosen frames of reference. Therefore, we have approached spatial quality from the viewpoint of travellers on the motorway and from various viewpoints in the surrounding landscape.

For motorists on the A16, spatial quality is predominately that of the route as a whole. Motorists experience the wind park, its interplay of turbines and the intersected landscape at high speed. On a smaller scale, spatial variation is much greater. Think, for example, of sightlines, waterways and heritage sites. Such specific local elements drop away for motorists, but offer slower travellers much detail. They serve as anchor points, allowing people to determine their position in space and time.

Driedeling landschap
Dagsituatie A16 Energielandschap

project data

Title: More than wind - A16/HSL

Location: A16-zone, Noord-Brabant, NL

Size: 40 km

Client: Province of Brabant

Cooperation: Bosch & Van Rijn

Duration: 2017-2018

Type: Area development

Image credits: BoschSlabbers

Project code: bs-L 16-08