Fortress in a Showcase

Fortress in a Showcase

Breda, Netherlands
Année du projet

Fortress in a showcase

Architectenweb Magazine en tant que Médias.

In 1842 following the recognition of the Kingdom of Belgium, the defences in Breda were yielded, these were part of the ‘Antwerp front’. Twentyfive years later there was a mandate by royal decree to dismantle the lunettes. One of the lunettes was maintained as a structure. After one and a half centuries of decline the imperial monument was given a useful function. It has recently been restored and now serves as a workspace for an architects office

The philosophy behind this restoration was the notion of consolidation. Not bringing it back to its original state, but rather maintaining the current state of the ruin forms the main principle here. A couple of measures were taken. The remains of the defences were injected to avoid further decay. Moreover, everything historical is placed in a showcase for protection. Without losing sight of the fortress section, a new modern building is built as a cover over the ruin.

The ruin is situated in the centre of the building. New workspaces are created around the réduit along glazed facades. These places lie under so called comfort canopies. The canopies are clad with artificial turf and provide a shaded zone. The office functions like the reception, library, management and interview rooms are all located in the bunkers. Eight meters high above the ruins hides a neutral ceiling made out of unplanned Western Red Cedar hidden above lies the air conditioning installation. As a result of this intervention it seems that the scale of the original fortification is reduced to that of furniture.

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