Because history is an important starting point for the design of the new fort watchman's house, architect Mick Martens of TM2 architects from Arnhem first explains the historical background of the location: "Poederoijen is part of the New Dutch Waterline, a nineteenth-century defence line that was intended to protect the cities in the west of the Netherlands against attacks from the east and southeast. The line consists of forts with inundation areas between them. In the event of an attack, these areas could be flooded, so that the enemy could not advance any further. This defensive structure has bomb-proof barracks buildings. On the access road in 1880 a house was built on a raised plateau, so that in case of inundation the house would stay dry. This was where the fort watchman lived, who was in charge of guarding the fort and supervising its maintenance. The house was demolished in 1957."
Revitalisation of the fort
The fortress is owned by the Forestry Commission. Its objective is to preserve and manage nature, not buildings. The Foundation for the Preservation of the Waterline Bommelerwaard has therefore adopted this building, together with the fortress of Brakel, with the aim of consolidating and revitalising the area. Mick Martens has been involved in the redevelopment for 10 years, first in an advisory role in the modification of the zoning plan. Subsequently, as the patron/director of the restoration of the exterior of the bomb-proof barracks and the reconstruction of the bridge over the canal to the barracks in 2012. The plans for the construction of the new fort watchman's house were also well advanced by then, but their implementation still had to await the necessary permits.
The new fort watchman's house is also made out of wooden cladding. "By continuing this material on the roof and hiding the rainwater drains, gutters and roof gutters from view, a pure main shape is created. The width of the slats has been leading in the dimensions of the façades, the openings in the façades and the steps.