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The Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site is well-known for its unique complex of 19 historic wind mills in a typical Dutch landscape. Currently there is no visitor center with appropriate facilities on site to welcome the many (international) visitors to the area. NOHNIK proposed an integral design for the entrance area and a new visitor center, based on three typical Dutch elements: water, land, sky.

Water symbolizes the relationship of the Dutch with the water and the battle against the water. Land symbolizes the Dutch life below sea level; vulnerable and heroic at the same time. Sky visualizes the typical Dutch grey clouds, the clear and wide horizon and the power of wind. These three elements form the base for the building design. The are interpreted as different floors within the building volume, connected to each other with a scenic route.

copyright NOHNIK architecture and landscapes

This route offers views to the visitors on different essential elements of the Kinderdijk complex, including historic pumping stations, canals and waterways. At the top of the building a viewing platform provides a scenic vista on the landscape with its 19 old wind mills. These principles incorporate a natural narrative into the building.

copyright NOHNIK architecture and landscapes

Year: 2014
Type: UNESCO World Heritage Site, architecture, landscape, interior, exhibition concept
Commissioner: Stichting Werelderfgoed Kinderdijk, Architectuur Lokaal
Size: 1.200 m2 (building)
Status: runner-up out of 132 entries in an invited competition
Partners: DGMR Engineers, Haasnoot Bridges, Opera Amsterdam exhibition specialists