Lake Grevelingen is currently the largest tide-less salt water lake in Europe. From an ecological perspective it is necessary that in the short term an inlet is established bringing the water from the North Sea to Lake Grevelingen. For the sake of the water quality, it is important that the water flows once more: low and high tides must again have (controlled) free play, which will directly result in a revival of the wealth of authentic flora and fauna in the area.
‘Zicht op Grevelingen’ (View on Grevelingen) is the development programme of De Grevelingen Nature Reserve and Recreation Area. The objective is to enhance the appeal of and the dynamic in De Grevelingen, both by approaching nature as well as the economy. This will happen by way of a number of area developments and various projects in and surrounding Lake Grevelingen.
As part of this programme, an inspiration centre is currently being developed on the Brouwers Dam. The Brouwers Dam separates the North Sea and Lake Grevelingen: the proposed location for the new information centre is at the central part of this Dam at the level of the Kabbelaarsbank.
The design consists of three volumes: a tower which is seamlessly elevated above two lower building parts. The tower physically opens the building in the centre, creating a throughput of light, air and space in the heart of the inspiration centre. The water flow on both sides of the building symbolises the renewed connection and dynamics between the North Sea and Lake Grevelingen. The building will not only add something to the landscape, nature will also be directly tangible in the building. What will return to take place on a major scale in Lake Grevelingen occurs here on a minute scale: the difference in the water level on both sides of the building shows the visitor inside the building the consequences of tidal changes.
The new inspiration centre symbolises the well-considered human intervention with nature. The building will, by way of its architectural design and the conscious decision for sustainable and renewable materials, clearly position itself in the ecological landscape, whereby the tower will function as a benchmark of the area. The building design is in line with the surrounding landscape.
The facades, made with reeds, and the green roofs with local vegetation ensure that the building blends in with the soft, green environment. In addition, the inspiration centre strives to communicate the remarkable transformation of the area to the visitors of De Grevelingen in a fascinating way. In the coming years, the inspiration centre should develop into a place where tourists can come the whole year round, gain an excellent impression of De Grevelingen and be invited to stay in the area, or return there. The inspiration centre will become a place where the unique experience forms the basis for an informative and educational stay at Brouwers Dam.
Client: Natuur- en Recreatieschap De Grevelingen
Programme: Inspiratiecentrum met restaurant en uitkijktoren
Gross floor area: 1200 m2
Project architect: Paul de Ruiter
Project team: Chris Collaris, Marieke Sijm, Richard Buijs, Giorgio Carella, Noud Paes, Christian Quesada van Berestey
Start design: Oktober 2011
Start construction: Mei 2014
Completion: April 2015