Dutch architect Serge Schoemaker has revealed his design for the redevelopment of Fort near Hoofddorp (1907) in the Netherlands. With a redevelopment of the historical site local authorities aspire to make the world heritage monument more known and open to the public. Schoemaker’s conversion design transforms the 8’100 m2 large fort island into an open air theater and restaurant.
Fort near Hoofddorp is located in the middle of the Haarlemmermeer polder in the Province of North Holland. The fort is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, which extends 135 kilometres around the city of Amsterdam, on a radius of approximately 15 kilometres from the city center. The Defence Line, built between 1880 and 1920, consists of a unique system of inundation areas, including 42 forts. It was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.
Fort near Hoofddorp was realized as a two level building because of the limited size of the construction site. The fort island encompasses several underground tunnels which connect the former gun emplacements, among others the unique caponier at the circular fort moat. The 1’200 m2 fort building is made out of in-situ concrete without reinforcement. The concave shaped concrete ceiling of the upper floor has a thickness of up to 1.8 metres to hold attacks of enemy gun fire.
The redevelopment design of Fort near Hoofddorp will envision a restoration of both the fort building and island. An entrance bridge will reappear on its original position above the fort moat. Offering great views over the historical surroundings, the small elevated square on top of the fort island will become the new heart of the island: the surrounding green-clad fort walls enclosing the square will be converted into terrace-shaped tribunes generating a 300-seat open air theater.
During conversions in the past the massive room-dividing walls within the fort building have been demolished. The historically incorrect but spacious situation has been used to create an interior design which both refers to the original layout and benefits from the new characteristics: dark wooden tables will be hung using black steel frames at the lowest points of the massive concave ceilings; the former positions of the room-dividing walls. The hung table constructions will emphasize the solidness of the concrete ceiling in a functional way.
+ Project data
Project: Fort near Hoofddorp
Location: Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Island Area: 8’100 m2
Gross Floor Area: 1’200 m2
Preliminary Design: 2012
Due for completion: 2015
Client: Guido Elzenaar, Femme Hammer
Architect: Serge Schoemaker Architects
Consultants: RAB (restoration), LBP Sight (building physics)
Project Team: Serge Schoemaker, Arun Bourdon, Anthony Dann, Dik Houben