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There are some sights which stop one cold. The chill of utility and necessity runs through my veins when I behold this massive bunker, sliced through, walls nearly as massive as the spaces they bound. Its original utility laid bare and thus lost, it now serves only to remind those who behold it of human strength and the fragility of time.

Arch2o-Bunker 599-Rietveld Landscape  Atelier de Lyon (2)

Courtesy of Rietveld Landscape | Atelier de Lyon

Clearly visible from the A2 highway, this project by Rietveld Landscape | Atelier de Lyon is part of an effort to reveal to the greater public a unique part of Dutch history.

Arch2o-Bunker 599-Rietveld Landscape  Atelier de Lyon (5)

Courtesy of Rietveld Landscape | Atelier de Lyon

The bunker is one of 700 belonging to the New Dutch Waterline from the year 1815 until 1940. This military line of defense protected the cities of Muiden, Utrecht, Vreeswijk and Gorinchem from intentional flooding during times of war- a real threat when the country in question is the Netherlands.

Arch2o-Bunker 599-Rietveld Landscape  Atelier de Lyon (1)

Courtesy of Rietveld Landscape | Atelier de Lyon

The new project is potent in its simplicity- composed primarily of a long, wooden boardwalk which leads visitors through the middle of the sliced bunker’s interior. The juxtaposition of the two elements frames the views beyond of flooded wetlands and an adjacent natural reserve. The structures are set up on piers in a subtle yet poignant reminder of the site’s original use and importance.

Courtesy of Rietveld Landscape | Atelier de Lyon

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