Cycle Routes
Francisca Salas P. For Lofscapes
(Photography, Video, And Cartography: Francisca Salas P)
(1) Border Paths (2014) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes

For those lovers of travel who want to explore remarkable places within cities they visit on wheels, in the CYCLE ROUTE this week we invite you to visit the Amsterdamse Bos Park, one of the most emblematic of the Dutch landscape.  To do this, we propose a thematic itinerary associated with the ideas of program, infrastructure, and process as structuring axes of this landscape project initiated in 1925.

Two years ago I visited the Amsterdamse Bos Park, located to the southwest of the Amsterdam’s urban center. The park covers an approximate area of 940 ha and is recognized as one of the most emblematic parks of the city. This emblematic connotation comes both with an understanding of the park as a landscape project that gives structure to urban development and because of its design and the execution of a hydraulic and planting system that responds to its topographic condition of being below sea level. 

The tour of the park can be classified into three categories: through border paths, paths arranged between specific ecosystems and whose routes run between mature forests, and routes between contemplative bodies of water. The routes are geometrically linear, evidencing the presence of established programs, such as the rowing pond. Additionally, there are transfer paths, where the forest-meadow relationship is articulated from winding trails that reveal their internal program. Here, that program is developed through activities within forests and grasslands in a system of lagoons, ponds, canals and wetlands as representative elements of the Dutch landscape.  

Either by the arrangement or configuration of its elements, the dimensions of the site − that from its interior at moments seemed impossible to understand − and/or its programmatic configuration, the tour of the park is an experimental exercise.  Through this exercise we can reflect on a construction at the time influenced by ecological variables, but also programmatic and technical variables, all of which provide space and flexibility to use the site as a place for social activities and sports. 

(2) Geometrically linear paths: Rowing pond (2014) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(3) Geometrically linear paths: Avifauna at the Rowing pond (2014) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(4) Transfer paths: View from path to meadow (2014) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(5) Transfer paths: View towards “Grote Vijver” waters from the path (2014) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(6) Transfer paths: View towards the meadow in the “Grote Vijver” pond (2014) © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes
(7) Cartography Routes and Programs at Amsterdam Bos Park © Francisca Salas P. for LOFscapes