DIERMERDAM – A former soldier’s shelter has been replaced with a new pavilion at Fort Diermerdam on Amsterdam’s defence line, recently stamped as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Dutch studio Emma Architecten had the task of re-engaging visitors with the coastal battery fortress, which has already seen restorations to the existing bunkers and guardian house. Taking its footprint directly from the past building, the new pavilion inserts a more organic form into the site.
A wooden wall wraps around the internal programme, distributed over three floors with space for events, tours and catering. Forty thousand Western Red Cedar natural shingles, of varying hues, construct the facade, creating a recurring pattern which curls up to the viewing deck on the upper floor. The organic shape rests at ease with its surrounding hilly, curvilinear landscape.
Large openings, shaped like eyes, cut through the facade, making way for views to the gun bays, a terrace and in the direction of a neighboring fortress on Pampus Island. ‘The wooden façade leans forward and backward, bends around the program and nestles the building deep in the stronghold’, say the architects.