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Dennenheuvel, Bloemendaal

Inclusive living in a forest

Orange Architects and Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners unveil the integral architectural and landscape sketch design to create a vibrant residential community on the former site of the Euphrasia monastery and nursing home on Dennenheuvel Estate in Bloemendaal. Situated between the coastal region and Haarlem, surrounded by dunes and forests, the site recently accommodated status holders, refugees and economically homeless people. Commissioned by Euphrasia Monastery, in collaboration with Orange Architects, the project involved developing an integral sketch design, based on participation process, encompassing both the future buildings and landscape integration. 


cultural-historical landscape

The Dennenheuvel landscape has a rich history, initially serving as bleaching fields on the outskirts of Haarlem in the 16th century and later as estate premises in the 18th century with the introduction of the first pine trees. Over the centuries, changes in ownership have contributed to the current fragmented nature of the terrain. Our project is dedicated to enhance the estate's character by revealing the historical landscape structures and connecting them to recreational routes. Preserving the intricate structure within the "landscape lace" - a tapestry of intertwined open spaces and forest patches - is crucial for maintaining the place's identity. Our interventions are strategically positioned to enhance panoramas, sightlines, and vistas, while safeguarding the unique essence of the location.


Historically, this coastal area has been served as a site for private estates and leisurely walks through the surrounding dunes and forests. Traces of this legacy include original tree-lined avenues and established forest pathways. Given the estate's rich history, our initial step involved a meticulous examination to identify existing landscape features, often concealed within numerous overlapping historical layers. Dennenheuvel Estate comprises a forest near the former monastery, Villa de Terp, and an allotment garden complex on the edge of the estate. Adjacent to it are also the Sint Theresia Primary School and the St. Adelbert Catholic Cemetery, adding layers of richness to the use of the estate. 

The Dennenheuvel estate falls within the Natura 2000 area, signifying a commitment to the protection and sustainable management of natural habitats and species of European significance. For the landscape project, this implies a heightened responsibility to adhere to conservation regulations and environmentally friendly practices to ensure the preservation of the area's ecological balance.


The landscape concept centers on enhancing the inherent qualities of the landscape, while also addressing the requirements of the future community. This landscape vision is articulated through three distinctive typologies. The first typology is the natural surrounding forest, embodying the untouched beauty and ecological richness of the site. The second typology comprises three cultivated squares, thoughtfully designed to serve as communal areas that cater to the diverse needs of the community. Finally, the third typology consists of four hybrid patios, seamlessly integrating architectural elements with the natural landscape, creating a harmonious fusion of built and natural environments.


Inspired by the monastery typology,  the communal focal point is a large courtyard, encouraging social interaction and outdoor activities among the residents. Functions surrounding the courtyard are strategically arranged, with public and collective spaces facing the street and private areas oriented towards the forest. A transitional space is introduced between the buildings and the courtyard. Enclosed by a wooden structure inspired by the cloister, this space serves multiple purposes, functioning as a gallery, providing balconies for residents, creating a wooden deck, or serving as a roof terrace canopy. The landscape design emphasizes a deliberate distinction between cultivated green spaces and the natural greenery, with openings strategically positioned between the buildings offering residents panoramic views. 

The plan encompasses 88 residential units, underground car and bicycle parking, and a diverse array of collective facilities.

natural landscape 

The existing forest is a valuable asset of the site and is treated with careful consideration. The forest is strategically divided into various programmatic zones to meet the diverse needs of future residents. The proposed path structure follows existing trails, minimizing interventions in the natural environment. The meandering path design, reminiscent of 20th-century estate gardens, feature strategic anchor points, including a vantage point  and a yoga pit, providing shared outdoor spaces for both residents and students from Sint Theresiaschool to utilize as an outdoor classroom.

monastery typology

The architectural model of the monastery and its spatial organization inspired the new design. Various monastery types were studied, ranging from classical to contemporary, with a specific focus on the Euphrasia Monastery. This typology emphasizes a strong collective component. Typically, a communal space near the entrance facilitates gatherings for both residents and visitors. An architectural element essential to the classical monastery is the cloister corridor, encircling the courtyard and connecting these spaces and functions. These fundamental elements integral to classical monasteries will be translated into the new design.

Diversity of patios 

The four distinct patios, each uniquely shaped by the environment and programmatic context, blend landscape and architecture. The Forest Patio offers views of the forest, facilitating residents' recreational walks. The Dune Patio features a sandy jeu de boules field and access to the rooftop terrace. The Water Patio is designed on three levels, incorporating a cascading water element and manages rainwater flow.  Lastly, the Entrance Patio serves as the passageway between the Village Square and the garth.

In contrast to the natural forest, three cultivated squares provides unique communal spaces. The cultivated garden, inspired by monastery gardens, allows residents to cultivate herbs and fruit trees, gather for picnics, and provides a natural playground for children. The Foyer on  acts as a welcoming gateway to the new community, designed around a water feature and seamlessly integrating the existing villa De Terp with the new development. The Village Square promotes a sense of community, serving as a meeting point for residents and neighbors.



In Dennenheuvel, an estate with a mission, the ambitions align with an integral sustainability mission of Orange Architects. Given the project’s unique location and its proximity to the Natura 2000 area, there is a strong commitment to build in the most sustainable manner possible, with a focus on utilizing wood throughout the project. In addition to the measures related to energy, materials, and biodiversity, the project places particular emphasis on social aspects. Through a diverse range of housing types and collective programs, Dennenheuvel aims to facilitate co-living among people of different ages, social backgrounds, and abilities, fostering a sense of community within the neighborhood.

Dennenheuvel enhances connections with surrounding estates and fosters ties with the neighborhood. This is achieved through the involvement of local residents, stakeholders, and interested parties in an open participation process. This collaborative approach ensures maximum contributions to the collective and social redevelopment mission of the Dennenheuvel Estate.


2023 - 2024




Landscape, Public Space


Klooster Euphrasia


7.4 ha



Team & partners

Michiel Van Driessche
Natalia Andreeva
Luiz Felipe Do Nascimento
Siebe Cornelis

Orange Architects B.V.

Vivid Vision

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