Fort Wek aan’t Spoel in Holland used to protect the municipality of Culemborg from military advances back in 1794, but has since become a disused blip of historic landscape architecture. The fort functioned in a unique way, rather than high walls keeping the enemy out, the landscape was intentionally flooded to divert invaders. Rietveld Landscape and Atelier de Lyon have seen the potential in the sculpted landscape, and have created a design that transforms the disused land into a public park setting.
Rietveld Landscape and Atelier de Lyon see the new space as an outdoor park lounge, attracting locals from Culemborg for days of relaxation in the sun. The existing landscape is built up into a series of grooves and elevations, with thick grass growing over it, surrounded by the inundation locks that would be opened to flood out unwanted guests. Much like a land art sculpture, the functional hills gradate into a basin, where a grass meadow sits. The natural hills and elevations from the original fort’s function could be used as comfortable inclines for sun bathing and picnicking. The design team also envisions bike paths around the perimeter of some of the gradations.
A new fort house is planned to be built, to join the existing bunkers, bombproof buildings and amphitheatre. Stair steps would be added to each hill, making ascending and descending into the basin meadow easily navigable. The inundation locks would become a waterscape for park visitors to sit by, and watch the wildlife that has settled within.
With these simple alterations, the Fort Wek aan’t Spoel will be transformed from disused historic site, to a modern attraction which will help define the New Dutch Waterline.
Via Arch Daily