Hoofddorp Fort Island

Model of Hoofddorp Fort Island by Serge Schoemaker Architects

The Hoofddorp Fort Island is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, which extends 135 kilometres around the city of Amsterdam. Built between 1880 and 1920, the defence line consists of a unique system of inundation areas and forts. It was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.

The fort in Hoofddorp is unique due to its central location in the heart of Hoofddorp. Furthermore it is one of only two forts within the Defence Line of Amsterdam that are two storeys high.

Our design transforms the 8’100 square metre world heritage site into an appealing public park, encompassing among others a restaurant, a small open air theater and a wild garden. It envisions a restoration of both the fort island and building, saving the monument from further decline.

A new path will guide visitors from the bus stop to the highest point of the island. Elements made of steel will be added to the landscape in order to enhance its attractiveness. The objects will encompass among others information poles, a new entrance gate, a connection bridge, a jetty as well as a small open air theater. Although each element is unique, their minimalist design and distinctive colour will make them a recognizable family of contemporary objects.

During previous renovations, some of the massive internal partition walls of the second floor were demolished. We used this historically incorrect situation to design a restaurant interior that references the original fort structure but benefits from the spaciousness of the current layout: wooden tables with anthracite steel frames will be suspended from the lowest points of the solid in-situ concrete ceilings where the partition walls once stood, emphasizing the solidness of the concave ceiling in a functional way.

The project has been possible thanks to the financial support of the province of Noord-Holland and the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.


Location: Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Client: Stichting Fort van Hoofddorp
Year: 2012-2019
Status: Under construction 

Team: Serge Schoemaker, Alexander Beeloo, Max Hart Nibbrig; Arun Bourdon, Anthony Dann, Yunqiao Du, Dik Houben, Niklas Kühlenborg, Roxana Vakil Mozafari
Vizualisations: Folkert Sevenster
Photography: Kees van der Veer

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