An abandoned military bunker in The Netherlands has been transformed into a striking waterside landmark by Reitvel Landscape. Used from 1815 until 1940, the area in which the structure is settled was a strategic military zone protecting the cities of Muiden, Utrecht, Vreeswijk and Gorinchem by means of intentional flooding. Sitting atop ground near the water’s edge, this seemingly indestructible bunker has been sliced open, revealing the heavy-duty yet miniscule interior. Both stoic and strangely beautiful, the segmented bunker forms a publicly-accessible attraction for visitors of the New Dutch Waterline.
Despite being one of nearly 700 structures along the NDW, the interior of Bunker 599 was completely cut off from view. The designers at Rietveld Landcape cut away the center, giving visitors the opportunity to more closely survey the complicated and chilling nature of war and defense. Additionally, a long wooden boardwalk cuts through the construction, opening up a path into the flooded area and footpaths of the adjacent natural reserve. The pier and the piles supporting the boardwalk serve as reminders that the water surrounding them is due a shallow water plain characteristic of the flooding tactics once used in times of war.
The bunkers are also visible from the A2 highway and can be seen by tens of thousands of passers-by each day. The project is part of a greater plan by Rietveld Landscape to make this unique part of Dutch history accessible and tangible to all types of visitors.
Photos © Rietveld Landscape
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