In 2020, Aalsmeer town council approved a change of its local zoning plan, paving the way for the transformation of Fort Kudelstaart into a vibrant and pioneering venue for water sports: Zeilfort Kudelstaart. Serge Schoemaker Architects, working on the scheme, is responsible for the Master Plan.
Fort Kudelstaart is part of the ‘Stelling van Amsterdam’ (Defence Line of Amsterdam) and was constructed in 1906 to protect the Herenweg and Westeinderplassen. As designated national heritage site, the fort has also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. Enclosing the island fort is a moat, framed to the north-west side by a ring-dike that separates it from the lake.
An opening in the ring-dike now connects the moat to the largest lake in the province of Noord-Holland. This water connection makes the fort island a perfect base for water sports, especially sailing. The moat already acts as a small local harbour, but the fort will now be thoroughly renovated and extended to create a veritable Sailing Fort. All of this will be done while preserving the fort’s green character and its monumental value.
The master plan drawn up by Serge Schoemaker Architects envisages the transformation of the 60,000 m2 site into a high-quality nautical centre with additional mooring spots and harbour amenities, hotel rooms, spa/wellness facilities and meeting spaces. The design vision also includes a restaurant, café and small museum. To safeguard the cultural-historical value of the site, the extension to the historical fort is completely integrated into the embankments and covered in earth.
The island fort will open to the public and host cultural and sports events. Zeilfort Kudelstaart will become a venue geared to water-related themes. The fort not only boasts abundant water in the vicinity, but also introduces visitors to a range of innovations, such as energy generated from water, water purification, water management in the polder, and the role of water within the Dutch Water Defence Lines.
Location: Kudelstaart, Netherlands
Client: Zeilfort Kudelstaart BV
Project team: Serge Schoemaker, Maiara Camilotti, Andrew Choptiany, Henrik Holte | Farimah Chaman Zadeh, Pedro Magalhaes
Related project: Fort Hoofddorp