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From Military Outpost To Perfect Picnic Spot

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)JK