Olaf Gipser Architects

New visitor centre . Oostvaardersplassen

source: Olaf Gipser Architects . more

The Oostvaardersplassen is a renowned nature reserve of ca. 5,600 hectares in the young Dutch province Flevoland. Being as wild wetland landscape and bird reserve the birthplace of the influentcial Dutch concept of "nature development", the Oostvaardersplassen will soon be connected with adjacent areas to form a 15,000 hectare large and spectacular nature anc recreation area, called Oostvaardersland.
In 2009, the Dutcn State Forest Management issued an open two-stage competition for a new visitor center of 1,100 m2 for expected 150,000 visitors yearly. The brief called for a building that has an inextricable relationship with its particular context. Oui design was chosen because of its "original character, its articulated relationship with the history of the location's manmade landscape, and the opportunities it offers for the experiences of a wide public".
The building is based on three key elements that oscillate between architecture and landscape. Firstly, the spacial organization of the floor plan interweaves landscape with architecture, outside with inside. The four characteristic types of wetland vegetation (froin shallow water to bushy forest) enter deep into the building's interior via a layout typical for the polder landscape. Secondly, the water roof is reminiscent of the former Zuiderzee's vanished sea level. Thirdly and mostly visible from afar, the observation tower refers to the Dutch land reclamation technology and will offer to future visitors a series of lookout platforms up to 22 m above ground.

A sustainable climate and energy concept was developed together with Arup, featuring the distinction of two climate zones in its interior, use of the water roof for floor cooling, and solar panels on the lookout tower to reach full energy neutrality.
The design's particular relationship between architecture and landscape has been developed in close collaboration with Vista landscape and urban design. Vista created a multi-layered visior for the 250 hectare large area around the visitor center to become a showcase of the Oostvaardersplassen enriched with various recreational opportunities.

In collaboration with Vista landscape and urban design, Amsterdam: Arup Netherlands, Amsterdam
Advisors: Basalt Bouwadvies BV, Nieuwegein; De Groot Gelijmde Houtconstructies, Vroomshoop; Rietbroek Oudijn Ontwerpers, Amsterdam; van den Oever, Zaaijer & Partners architecten, Amsterdam; Van Elst Roelofs Plancoordinatie, Cuijk; VHS Mixed Media Solutions BV, Amsterdam
Model maker: Studio KU+, Amsterdam

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