A cradle of innovation in the heart of Holland’s mill country

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The Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation reached out to Streetlife to renew all street furniture

While Kinderdijk is perhaps the most authentic Dutch village you will ever come across, the locality also reveals the ingenious side of the Netherlands based on technological prowess and innovation. One of the country’s best-known tourist sites and home to an impressive series of operational water works, Kinderdijk is constantly evolving. The Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation reached out to Streetlife in search of a Dutch contribution to the development of a new entrance area.

Ever since the Middle Ages, a system of water works has been used in the Alblasserwaard polder, east of Rotterdam, to transform the fertile peat bogs into farmland and protect villages from flooding. Although various dykes and locks initially controlled the water, the first polder mills appeared in Kinderdijk as early as the 15th century. Of the 19 preserved windmills, most date back to the period 1738-1740. The water works in the area are still necessary and in use today. All the mills have been restored and ready to be employed in times of distress.

Kinderdijk has the largest concentration of windmills in the world and since 1997 has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To facilitate the ever-increasing stream of tourists, a new entrance area was required with an appealing visitors centre and improved infrastructure. Streetlife has played its part in the development by adding many of its customised benches.

At the special request of the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation, Rough&Ready (R&R) 6 Benches with stainless steel supports have been equipped with the area’s iconic windmill logo. Possessing a robust appearance, the solid hardwood beams are designed to last for generations and blend perfectly with the surroundings.

In harmony with Kinderdijk’s aesthetic appeal, the substantial beam size of the R&R range is reminiscent of the traditional wooden construction of the windmills.

Raised R&R Cubes complement the R&R 6 Benches and serve as side tables or extra seats. The high backrests installed on the R&R 10 Benches allow people to sit on either side. Situated between the two series of windmills, the benches are ideal for enjoying the sweeping views. The benches have been playfully arranged at right angles allowing for plenty of seating and for visitors to casually sit with each other as they please.

The struggle against water throughout the centuries is part of Dutch heritage, which can be fully embraced at Kinderdijk. Down the ages, this constant battle has been a source of great technical innovation, as Kinderdijk wonderfully illustrates. For centuries, new technologies to fend off and drain water have always been applied here: dykes and locks and various types of windmills as well as steam and ultimately electrically powered pumping stations. The redevelopment of the area is now introducing the latest trends, innovations and techniques in architecture and product design.

The R&R line comprises a wide range of products ranging from bicycle racks to bicycle bridges and from picnic tables to benches. The standardised beam size creates a uniform image throughout the entire range. The base for the hardwood seats can be delivered in galvanised, coated, stainless or CorTen steel.

The Rough&Ready range is part of Streetlife’s Street Furniture collection. For a complete overview of the Street Furniture, Tree Products and Bridges & Jetties collections, please visit our website: www.streetlife.nl/en

Streetlife Rough&Ready furniture at Kinderdijk
Streetlife Rough&Ready furniture at Kinderdijk

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