Lelystad Zuid – Never so bright

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Lelystad Zuid - Never so bright

Lelystad Zuid - Never so bright

The carcass of a once constructed but never finished train station has been laying in the Dutch polder for over 25 years. Photographer Denis Guzzo captured the structure, showing its limbo between non-place and place.

The Dutch city of Lelystad is a city raised from the sea. In the late 1950s, on a spot where 60 years ago there was only water, around 1500 square kilometres of land was reclaimed from the IJsselmeer lake, which had itself been open sea until the 1930s.

Ambitions for the city were high. It was meant to house 100.000 residents and be an important centre for the entire – newly created – province of Flevoland . Through the 1960s and 1970s, the most cutting edge architecture and planning ideas were applied to this tabula rasa. Lelystad featured modern housing and plenty of space, both green and water, and one of its most striking components was an elevated system of bicycle lanes. The city’s future seemed bright.

However, reality never lived up to the city’s optimistic ambitions. The province was supposed to be larger but one lake was never drained, thus making Lelystad’s hinterland unexpectedly small. Moreover, the construction of the city of Almere, which was closer to Amsterdam and the west of the Netherlands, diminished the importance of Lelystad as a regional centre.

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