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From Military Outpost To Perfect Picnic Spot

Rietveld Landscape gives the site surrounding a former fort a modern, social identity.

  • <p>Amsterdam-based firm Rietveld Landscape came up with a new vision for Fort “Werk aan ‘t Spoel,” a historical monument turned social and cultural destination.</p>
  • <p>The grounds are dotted with existing bunkers and shelters dating from the late 18th century.</p>
  • <p>Sylvan surrounds make it an ideal spot for picnics and outdoor socializing.</p>
  • <p>The site incorporates a nice mix of renovated historical structures in a newly considered environment.</p>
  • <p>A view of the grand scheme of things.</p>
  • <p>The tiered, earthwork amphitheater-like space adds depth to the grounds.</p>
  • <p>Catchin’ some rays.</p>
  • <p>Don’t forget to pack the picnic lunch.</p>
  • <p>The master plan.</p>
  • 01 /09

    Amsterdam-based firm Rietveld Landscape came up with a new vision for Fort “Werk aan ‘t Spoel,” a historical monument turned social and cultural destination.

  • 02 /09

    The grounds are dotted with existing bunkers and shelters dating from the late 18th century.

  • 03 /09

    Sylvan surrounds make it an ideal spot for picnics and outdoor socializing.

  • 04 /09

    The site incorporates a nice mix of renovated historical structures in a newly considered environment.

  • 05 /09

    A view of the grand scheme of things.

  • 06 /09

    The tiered, earthwork amphitheater-like space adds depth to the grounds.

  • 07 /09

    Catchin’ some rays.

  • 08 /09

    Don’t forget to pack the picnic lunch.

  • 09 /09

    The master plan.

The Netherlands no longer needs controlled flooding to protect it from potential foes, which has left former military outposts along the constructed waterlines with a distinct lack of modern-day functionality and TLC. All that is changing, however, with a glut of adaptive reuse projects. Like Emma Architecten’s recent Pavilion Puur, Fort "Werk aan ‘t Spoel" is a historical monument turned social and cultural destination.

Situated off the Lek river in the centrally located municipality of Culemborg, the project is the brainchild of Amsterdam-based multidisciplinary design and research office Rietveld Landscape—guided by the unique talents of landscape architect Ronald Rietveld and philosopher/economist Erik Rietveld—in collaboration with Atelier de Lyon and Anouk Vogel. The grounds are dotted with bunkers and bombproof buildings, renovated to support a range of gatherings for tourists and locals alike. A long-derelict fort will get a much-needed facelift, accompanied by the construction of a new adjacent fort house. Add in what looks to be an impeccably kept lawn, and you’ve got a prime spot that’s just about perfect for that favorite of Dutch pastimes, picnicking—they do adore their picnics—while a recessed earthwork amphitheater like a large-scale, grass-covered conversation pit completes the scene. Groovy.

(H/T designboom)