House Poederoijen

House Poederoijen

TM2 Architecten

On the site of a former fort watchman's house on the northern bank of the Maas near Poederoijen, TM2 architects built a new restaurant with upstairs accommodation. The new building is in exactly the same location and has similar contours. The façades are clad in wood and large windows offer plenty of views over the fort, the Meuse, the dike and the floodplains.

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.

 

Pure shape

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. 

 "I have thought it all out and designed it in such a way that the same wide and unsawed slats fit everywhere." All of the roof penetrations are brought together in a wide chimney, which is clad in the same wood as the façades and roof. The result is an archetypal main shape and tight detailing. 

Dynamic façade openings

The façade openings bring dynamism to this sleek design. The architect has chosen various aluminium profiles from Reynaers Aluminium, which Aluminiumbouw D'n Boeij has skilfully processed into tight window and door frames. "I use a series of different types of frames, such as the fixed parts with rotating parts and the sliding windows. I also used shadow boxes, with a slimly detailed exchange profile." The shadowboxes have opaque glazing with a full surface of enamel on the inside. "The brasserie and the house are two different fire compartments. Behind the shadowboxes on the first floor are fire-resistant parapets, which are not visible in the façade. In this way we could use the same frame profile."

The shadowboxes have been used as parapets on the first floor and as high panels on both sides of the entrance to the catering industry. The colour has been chosen in such a way that the difference with the 'normal' glass openings is minimal. 

 

Brasserie

The new building consists of a brasserie on the ground floor and in the basement and on the first floor there is a house. From the brasserie, the large windows offer a panoramic view of the surroundings, including the bomb-proof barracks. A sliding window can be opened in three facades. Adjacent to the ground floor is a terrace on the southwest side. The young trees that can be seen in old photographs of the original fort watchman's house are now fully grown on the side of the dike and cast their shadow on the house and terrace in summer. Half a floor down is a small terrace on the northeast. Striped windows bring plenty of daylight into the basement, which offers space for a meeting room, toilets and storage. 

 

Upstairs apartment

The upstairs apartment has a separate entrance in the north-eastern façade. Through large windows in the end walls and the balcony on the southwest, the house has an even wider view over the Maasdijk. Especially from the high living room with an open roof and a mezzanine, the view is overwhelming. The balcony is accessible from the living room and one of the three bedrooms. It is largely cut from the main volume and protrudes as much from the façade as the awning of the terrace. 

 

Low maintenance

Especially with a foundation as the client, Mick Martens finds it important to come up with low-maintenance solutions. "With the wooden cladding with durability class 1 and the aluminium window frames, a beautiful result has been achieved that is also very low-maintenance. Finally, the architect wishes to emphasise that "with the construction of this new fort watchman's house, a new time layer has been added to the battery at Poederoijen, making the battery accessible to a wider public". Indeed, the brasserie has no shortage of customers, the manager assures us. 

 

Footprint and silhouette

Construction could start in 2016 and the new building was completed in the summer of 2017. The new fort watchman's house was built on an elevated plateau at exactly the same location as its predecessor. The original main shape was used by architect Martens as a base for the new fort watchman's house, but by deviating greatly in detail, the new building clearly has a contemporary character. "The footprint and silhouette of the new building are comparable to the original design. The fort watchman's house had a rectangular floor plan and consisted of a small cellar underneath the house, a storey with a gable roof. The facade was provided with wooden tongue-and-groove panels." 

From the brasserie, the large windows offer a panoramic view of the surroundings, including the bomb-proof barracks.

Upstairs apartment

The upstairs apartment has a separate entrance in the north-eastern façade. Through large windows in the end walls and the balcony on the southwest, the house has an even wider view over the Maasdijk. Especially from the high living room with an open roof and a mezzanine, the view is overwhelming. The balcony is accessible from the living room and one of the three bedrooms. It is largely cut from the main volume and protrudes as much from the façade as the awning of the terrace. 

 

Low maintenance

Especially with a foundation as the client, Mick Martens finds it important to come up with low-maintenance solutions. "With the wooden cladding with durability class 1 and the aluminium window frames, a beautiful result has been achieved that is also very low-maintenance. Finally, the architect wishes to emphasise that "with the construction of this new fort watchman's house, a new time layer has been added to the battery at Poederoijen, making the battery accessible to a wider public". Indeed, the brasserie has no shortage of customers, the manager assures us. 

 

Footprint and silhouette

 Construction could start in 2016 and the new building was completed in the summer of 2017. The new fort watchman's house was built on an elevated plateau at exactly the same location as its predecessor. The original main shape was used by architect Martens as a base for the new fort watchman's house, but by deviating greatly in detail, the new building clearly has a contemporary character. "The footprint and silhouette of the new building are comparable to the original design. The fort watchman's house had a rectangular floor plan and consisted of a small cellar underneath the house, a storey with a gable roof. The facade was provided with wooden tongue-and-groove panels." 

Fabricator: 
Aluminiumbouw d’n Boeij
Architects: 
TM2 Architecten
Location: 
the Netherlands
Photographer: 
Jan Willem Schouten