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. Serge Schoemaker Architects, working on the scheme, is responsible for the Master Plan (2020) as well as the Preliminary Design (2022).
Fort Kudelstaart is part of the ‘Stelling van Amsterdam’ (Defence Line of Amsterdam) and was constructed in 1906 to protect the Herenweg road and Westeinderplassen lake. A designated national heritage site, the fort has also been listed as a 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.
The master plan drawn up by Serge Schoemaker Architects for Kudelstaart Sailing Fort 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 soon open to the public and host cultural and sports events. Kudelstaart Sailing Fort 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 both within the Defence Line of Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands.
Architect Serge Schoemaker also oversaw the recent renovation and transformation of Fort Hoofddorp, which opened to the public in 2020.
Location: Kudelstaart, Netherlands
Client: Zeilfort Kudelstaart BV
Project team: Serge Schoemaker, Maiara Camilotti, Andrew Choptiany, Henrik Holte | Farimah Chaman Zadeh, Pedro Magalhaes