Situated in the heart of De Laak is the Kai-Park, with an abundance of places to play and bordered by a broad waterway. West-8 (Urban Design and Landscape Architecture) designed this park and was inspired by Japanese design styles. Its size is approx. 2 ha and it is surrounded by water on three sides. In the park are three characteristic red gates; works of art by the Czech artist Alexandra Kolácová. The work was inspired on a Japanese Torii Gate. In Japanese tradition these gates form the entrance to sacred places. Here, however, local residents meet and in summer often spontaneous picnics take place. Many residents have dinghies. Because of the widening of the Laak river, more possibilities exist for sailing and recreation; e.g. sailing from Vathorst to Bunschoten. In the north of Vathorst bicycle and equestrian paths, walkways and canoe jetties have been realized. Running in the polder is one of the favourite hobbies of many local residents.
The second section, De Velden, can be best characterized as village-like and green. De Velden has two different residential areas: one in which the original elongated plots of land can be recognized and another in which a mosaic of plots is recognizable. De Velden has more than 4.600 houses of various types: free plots, courtyards and terraced houses. The original landscape with it’s wooden banks and ditches has been fit in the plans as much as possible.
The car-free ‘Lint’ meanders through the area and is often skirted by pollard willows. Nature farm ‘De Brinkhorst’ , an old farm with meadows, orchards and barns, is also situated there.
Park van de Tijden (1.7 ha) was designed by Kuiper Compagnons, Office for Urban Planning and Architectural Consultancy. It is a linear green park bordered by park houses. The theme ‘tijden=times’ is to be interpreted as a ritual of seasons, of past, present and future, of natural elements. The park was one of the first public meeting places of Vathorst, in particular for its residents. The music stage at the edge of the pond functions as a platform. The stage was designed by artist group ‘Conservatorium’.
The park has been divided into different areas: the spring hill on the north-west side, the summer field with the winter pond, followed by the autumn forest. A work of art is situated right in front of this forest: Abdelkader Benali’s ‘Blinddruk van de Tijd’ (2007). Birch trees surround the park like a pictureframe.
De Bron (the third area) is also an area with its own identity. Characteristic are the wooden banks and lake in the middle of the area. At the edge of this lake (and partly within) the ABC school building is situated with two schools and several facilities. ( Architectuurbureau Herman Herzberger, AHH). The original wooden banks and trees have been conserved. The stately avenues and intimate courtyards give this area a strikingly green appearance.
The BRONpark was opened in 2013 and is situated in the heart of De Bron at the central lake. The park (0,7 ha) consists of three parts that merge into each other. A restaurant in a greenhouse, called ‘Daphne in de Kas (bydaphne.nl)’ is situated at the border of the pond. Its terrace has a beautiful view of the lake. There are sports and games facilities, a kitchen garden, a boulevard with a wooden watchtower. The middle of the park is suitable for playing with sand and water, there are stepping stones, a draw ferry and a playing table in the water. This part of the park continues into the less accessible part, where nature dominates.
Last but not least: The village of Hooglanderveen (the fourth area). The village became part of Vathorst.
Since the development of the residential area of Vathorst (2005) the amount of inhabitants in Hooglanderveen has doubled; the extension of the area has resulted in a modernized infra-structure, a larger range of shops, a new community centre and new accommodation for its soccer and tennis clubs. The railway station ‘station Amersfoort Vathorst’ is situated near the centre.