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RO&AD : Pompejus

Although the city of Bergen Op Zoom (Netherlands) no longer fears attacks by invaders, it still remains surrounded by an impressive line of defense dating back to the 17th century. A series of fortresses recently restored, including the Pompejus tower, former control enclosure that now offers a wide view of the entire Barbant region.

Named the “West Brabantse Water Defense Line”, the fortification was built in 1627 to protect the states of Zealand and South Holland from French and Spanish assaults. The Pompejus tower, thus qualified in homage to the first commander of the group, Pompejus de Roovere, consisted of an oblique construction pointed towards the adversary which made it possible to warn the defense in the event of an attack. If the initial construction has now disappeared, the Dutch agency RO&AD is giving it a second lease of life with a new 25-meter-high wood-clad complex including an information point, an exhibition space, an open-air theater. in the lower part and an observatory offering visitors a breathtaking panorama of the agricultural region - after having climbed 129 steps ...

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Echoing the inclination of the old structure, the architects imagine a substitute leaning but more airy than what was once a solid stone fort. The result: a steel tower covered with Accoya® wood slats, whose facade is made according to the Voronoi diagram, breaking down a plan into cells, creating a paving pattern. A complex concept with a striking visual effect.

An impressive project that brings new life to an obsolete military zone.

To learn more, visit the RO&AD site

Photographs: Katja Effting

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