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De Wasemer

Brabantse Maaskant, the Netherlands
2016 - ongoing
design development
architecture, installation
MINT Ruimtelijk Ontwerp

The Dutch floodplains are in a constant state of change. From time to time, melt water from the Alps and on-site rainfall turn these grasslands into swamps or even wild rivers. The floodplains create more room for the river and provide for a natural water management system in the Netherlands. These fluctuating water levels are characteristic of the history and culture of North-East Brabant, and flora and fauna has evolved over the centuries as well.

The core of De Wasemer is not the design, the materials or the construction. The architecture is a sensitive response to the genius loci of the North-Eastern Brabant landscape. The fluctuating water level is translated to the molecular level and forms the heart of the concept of the pavilion. Through the sun and human activity, the humid air warms up under the glass shell. The humid air strikes against the cold glass and condensates, continuously forming a magic white blanket on the entire shape of the pavilion.

The architectural object changes with the dynamic environment and provides transparency in the operation of water. The opaque layer of condensation versus clarity involve visitors and residents of the area in a poetic and innovative way, and narrates the impact water has (had) and the rich history of the place.

A year ago, Mint // Namelok won the Fleur Groenendijk Foundation’s quarterly prize with their project ‘De Wasemer’. The duo, consisting of the Rotterdam architectural design agencies Mint Ruimtelijk Ontwerp and Namelok, has since been working hard to develop this glass facade pavilion together with water boards and other public authorities.

The fluctuating water levels are characteristic of the history and culture of North-East Brabant. De Wasemer narrates the impact this has (had) by a dynamic opaque layer on the facade.