Fort near Hoofddorp

Fort, Cover3

Our redevelopment design of Fort near Hoofddorp transforms the 8100m2 world heritage site into a 300-seat open theatre and restaurant. It envisions a conversion and restoration of both the concrete fort building and the island on which it is situated, saving the monument from further decline.

Fort near Hoofddorp (1907) is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, which extends 135 kilometres around the city of Amsterdam. Built between 1880 and 1920, the Defence Line consists of a unique system of inundation areas and forts. It was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996. Fort near Hoofddorp is unique due to its location in the heart of the city centre and it is one of only two (out of 42) forts that are two storeys high. The fort’s redevelopment will open the site to the public for the first time.

Our design proposes to maximise the spatial qualities of the existing architecture while readapting the features of the original structure. Offering picturesque views over the surroundings, the small elevated square on top of the island will become the new heart of the building; the surrounding green-clad fort walls enclosing this square will be converted into terrace-shaped tribunes generating an open air theatre.

The interior will encompass several new functions including a restaurant. During previous renovations, the massive internal partition walls were demolished. We used this historically incorrect situation to design an interior that references the original structure but benefits from the spaciousness of the current layout. Dark wooden tables will be suspended from the lowest points of the solid in-situ concrete ceilings where the partition walls once stood, emphasizing the solidness of the concave ceiling in a functional way.


Location: Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Client: Stichting Fort van Hoofddorp
Year: 2012-ongoing
Status: Building application 

Team: Serge Schoemaker, Arun Bourdon, Anthony Dann, Dik Houben

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