Page 1

B Sa m

wn o r

Research The New Dutch water defence line

RESPONSE Station of Solastalgia

The New dutch water defence line Station of solatalgia Sam Brown 2011

This project is a response to an initial first hand study and exploration of an 18th century Dutch hydrological and fortified defensive landscape. By inducing an 85km line of water into the low-lying polder landscape through a network of dikes and sluices, the Dutch were able to isolate major cites from the rest of invading Europe. By studying this landscape of defense, small towns were discovered that are at constant risk of flooding due to their low-lying topography. A new defensive line would predominantly become a warning system, highlighting and studying dangerous weather patterns, climatic conditions and reacting to them. A climate research station to the south west of Culemborg, the most recent town evacuated in 1995 due to the threat of major flooding, will become the main weapon in flood prediction and study.

By monitoring water, land, air and natural behavior within the landscape as well as providing a buoyant repository of precious items for the town itself, the station will become a step to cure the effects of solastalgia, the theory of home sickness within ones own home due to the uncontrollable consequences of climate change. Like arks, a series of pontoon archipelago test bed’s will become autonomous, studied and monitored entities within the landscape, offering not only the advantage of an early warning to the threat of flooding but shelter and a means of life and self sufficiency to citizens caught up within the possible future flooding. Natural behavior upon the archipelagos such as Dutch tulips closing and bee’s returning to their hives indicates the threat of on an oncoming storm.

contents ResearchThe new dutch water defense line..........................01-20 Location Culemborg...........21-40 Station of solatalgia............41-80


weaponised hydrology 1819-1940 In 1815 a plan orginally drafted in the 1600’s was completed. The plan was to take advantage of the Netherlands constant struggle with hydrology and use it to isolate itself from the the rest of Euroupe. Previouse waterlines had been constucted around Amsterdam and had proved succesfull. Low lying tracks of land called polders were encouraged to flood through an intricate series of dikes sluices and pumping stations. Across the landscape forts were constructed and constanly updated through the years to protect the Netherlands. The full flooding scheme was never utilised and only succeded in parts. By WW2 and use of aircraft only the forts could be used to unsuccessfully hold back the German advance.


waterline location 3



Once fully induced with sea and river water through a network of sluices, important Dutch towns became cut off from the rest of Europe. After 26 days the polder flood basins were intended to be full to a depth of 500mm, making the landscape treacherous and difficult for advancing enemies.



The sluice induces water from rivers and the north sea, flooding the polder landscape by increasing the level in the canals that surround the fields. Once the level has reached the height of the protecting dike its over flows flooding the low lying polder

polder The polder is inundated to a height of 500-600mm, making land difficult to traverse. Once filled, defenses blend into the hydrological landscape and are further masked by tree lines and earth works.


Forts protect the flooded landscape further from attack. Each fort is orientated in order to suit the landscape and to provide the best gunfire range. Forts are further protected by earthwork batteries providing extra fire power. With the use of tree line masking and earthworks, forts further blend within the flooded landscape providing the element of surprise to any attacker.


As well as the waterline itself the dutch defensive landscape is littered with small defensive works and large scale landscape forts. Each fortification produced a series of defensive archipelagoes within the flooded landscape. 8

The waterline acts as a hydrologic barrier cutting the major Dutch cites off from the rest of Europe. Each sluice becomes a gear in a giant mechanism of defence. The model and diagrammatic illustrates the inundation of polders that produce a hydrological boundary as demosntarted by the device forcing itself apart.


hydrologic isolation device Once fully induced the flood water over flows from the low lying polders producing a flooded landscape, serparating and isolating vital Dutch towns. 10


waterline fortification and hydrological survey 12


Sluice’s allow sea and river water to flood excessively into canals surrounding flood basin polders along the water line.

Polders are low lying basins that can be easily flooded. Surrounding dikes protect the polder from flooding unless high levels of water are induced into the surrounding dike canal.



Batterijen, werk and lunnetten are terminology for small earth work defensive gun positions along the waterline.Smaller than forts they are intended to protect vulnerable areas along the defensive line


fortified town naarden 17


fortification vechten 19



In 1995 Culemborg was temporarily evacuated due to the risk of flooding from the river Lek. With the threat of rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns, the Dutch waterline and landscape intended to protect could refill with over flowing sea and river water, flooding the mass urban sprawl that has occurred due to the waterlines decommissioning in 1940. 24


Solastagia describes a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change or the threat it could potentially cause. The model illustrates the uncontrollable effect of flooding upon ones home and the distress caused from the loss of precious memories. The model contains my own memory from site, an item that could have been victim to flood damage and a remnant of a previous entity within the landscape. 26


To mirror the waterline defence network of forts works and batteries, a series of monitored archipelago’s of autonomous refuge shelters, fisheries, food producing and industrial pontoons scatter the landscape. Their form is taken from the polder landscape, producing areas that can be utilised to serve Culemborg in times of flooding and non flooding. Each site lies just above sea level, however with the typically flat Dutch typography the landscape is easily flooded if the river Lek was to rise above the two meter high dyke protecting Culemborg. The climate research station sits in a low lying basin, becoming a center for climatic experiments, monitoring the natural behavior from the network of archipelagos and housing labs that monitor air, land and water. The station provides a safe repository for precious items of the people of Culemborg and also acts as an early warning system predicting dangerous flood inducing weather patterns. 28

A series of small autonomous archipelagos scatter the landscape providing refuge for a portion of the community that may become stranded in the event of flash flooding. Like arks within the floodplains the shelters mirror the historic landscapes use of defence works. When unoccupied the shelters become batteries storing energy that can later be used or be distributed to the local community. The archipelagos also provide a chance for community’s to produce their own food Small platforms containing a series of weather predicting devices take influence from the polder landscape. Each becomes a weapon against the threat of flooding. The main weapon acts as a large barometer measuring air pressure. Once the pressure drops to a dangerous level storms can be predicted. Once predicted, kites raise upon the station and the dike itself warning the community of an low pressure front. Dike kites contain cameras and relay a stream to the monitoring station of the approaching storm As an aid to the effect of solastalgia upon the community at risk of flooding the monitoring station will hold a repository of treasured memories and items. By keeping the item safe within the repository, the feeling of loosing ones memories to the effects of environmental disasters will diminish 29

passive climate prediction

Nature is heavily effected by air pressure. Wasps will fly back to the nest in the event of an atmopheric pressure drop. Dutch tulips close as a result of a drop in low pressure to avoid taking on to much water from the predicted precipitation. An old wives tale states how cows will sense a drop in atmospheric pressure and lye huddled together on the ground. Metals such bimetallics change form with changes in atmospheric temperatures and also pressures. 30


The flooded and monitored archipelago landscape. The industrial, refuge and fishery platforms raise with flood waters producing a self sufficient community of which natural behaviors become a basis of passive climate study for the research station. 32

Dyke flood warning system 1. Low pressure weather pattern 2. Dyke barometer warning balloon 3. Dyke 4. Polder landscape 5. River Lek 6. Night warning light 7. Storm camera 8. Horizon A. Aneroid barometer triggers balloon inflation B. Warning balloon C. Self seal nozzle D. Camera and light housing E. Guide line reels F. Guide line tube G. Helium tube H. Helium tank I. Helium refill tank


If a dangerous low pressure weather pattern was to occur balloons in Culemborgs dyke would inflate. The balloons would become a warning system to the town highlighting a probable flood early. A storm camera on each balloon streams a footage of the horizon back to the climate monitoring station to view the approaching storm.

To prepare the Netherlands for a flooded future a lifting of the low lying landscape would need to occur. The Dutch have reached a point to where defence against the sea is becoming more difficult. A new floating landscape that could rise from the original terra firma could supply everything the Dutch needed to continue living upon their artificial constructed country 34

The monitored archipelago landscape


1. Monitored cow pontoon 2. Monitored bee pontoon 3. Monitored tulip growing pontoon 4. Perforated gangways

1. Shelter pontoon 2. Autonomous shelter 3. Photovoltaics 4. Food growing capsules 5. Sluice water filtration 6. VAWT turbines 7. Winched refuge boats 8. Perforated gangways

1. Moorings 2. Zoo plankton runnels to encourage fish habitat 3. Runnel light 4. Fishing pontoon 5. Monitored fish keeps 6. Fish market 7. Monitored fish pools 8. Perforated gangways


The monitored archipelago landscape master plan from the west of culemborg reaching to the dike to the north of the town. 37


landscape elevation 39



Facades continually change upon the climate station with weather patterns. Biprongs react to changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure opening rain collecting devices to service the building.


The climate research station is split into two sides. One houses a weather penetrative public repository for the people of Culemborg and analog weather station devices. The other holds labs that monitor and research climate within laboratory spaces, through the archipelagos in the landscape and test beds housed within the station .

The private labrotory section of the station becomes like an exploded fort. Separate labs are held in barrel vaulted pods and transitory spaces encourag a social aspect for the scientists working within the station. The public space is a simple pontoon gangway leading through the station past the repository and out into the landscape. In the event of a flood the gangway would raise itself and the repository.

A large water barometer becomes a device for the station to predict atmospheric pressure and weather patterns. The barometer sits upon the surface of the lake and the water level inside raises and falls according to the atmospheric pressure. Low pressure means a storm is due and the water level will raises releasing helium warning balloons into the air visible to the town of Culemborg.

A biclimatic fabric cladding contracts and expands with changes in temprature. The sack covers the lab spaces and increses the air gap between its two layers in a cold climate to trap air and isulate. Like the camoflage nets hung upon dutch forts the cladding acts as a diruptive pattern material keeping the labs private. The sack trails into the low lying water filled basin to attarct a natural fish habitat that can be further monitored by the station.



The climate research station sitting within the landscape like a defensive fort monitoring over the archipelagos and the natural behavior occurring upon them. The roof produces a disruptive pattern material upon the landscape camouflaging itself like the forts along the waterline. Like an exploded underground defensive work the polder inspired roof covers the interior underground fort like spaces as well as harvesting water. A pontoon decks splits the public from the private and leads the user out into the landscape 46

strategies01.structural columns

1. translucent insulated tube flooring 2. chilled/ warm beams 3. timber frame draught doors 4. venting 5. lab service space 6. glazed ceiling 47

02.passive solar beam heating and water cooling A. rubber lined and insulated solar panel housing with south facing concave mirror amplifiers. B. shaded cool tank C. storage and overflow reservoir

Within the apertures of the steel box section roof tanks are housed to collect, store and heat rain water. Warm tanks are raised in order for the sun to warm their rubber insulated, lined sides with extra heat produced from concave mirrored south facing walled interiors to ensure maximum heat is applied to the water heating panels. Cool tanks are shaded by the raised warm tanks in order for them to remain cool. Spaces within the research establishment take advantage of the warm or cool water by pumping it through the hollow steel beams that house each space controlling the interior climate. Draught corridors enure the heat is kept within each of the interior working spaces 48

03. climate predictive / reactive facade A. high tension steel cable reel amplifier B. brass strip C. exterior grade ply strengthening strip D. steel strip E. bimetallic prong F. spring loaded recycled rubber water harvesting trough G. collection trough H. prong fixing

The climate reactive water harvesting facade is affected by atmospheric pressure. If air pressure is to drop, rain normally will occur. The drop in pressure causes the atmospheric sensitive bimetallic prongs to bend outwards opening the water troughs to collect rain water. Water collected in the trough passes through sand filters situated under the steel deck to provide clean water for the station. High tension reels mounted upon the roof amplify the prongs movements. The facade no only collects water but predicts and reacts to atmospheric weather patterns. 49

facade detail 50

04. climatic responsive insulative cladding

A. 25mm fire safe composite board B. air gap C. timber stud D. 25mm fire safe composite board E. bimetallic housing F. High tension bimetallic coil G. fluoropolymer coated glass fabric H. bimetallic fabric hook and seal I. fixing baton J. insulative air gap

Each space within the climate research station is clad with a climate responsive skin. High tension coiled bimetallics react to temperatures In cold temperatures the fluropolymer coated glass fabric is pushed outwards by the bimetallic coils producing an air trapping insulative air gap. The opposite occurs when the temperature rises to ensure the spaces keep cool. The bimetallics are tuned in order to keep a comfortable regular temperature within each interior working space. The system is inspired by the hooked on camouflage netting used to hide landscape fortifications along the original waterline. 51

05. exterior climatic responsive insulative cladding

A. cross bracing B. exterior steel upright C. high tension bimetallic coil D. secondary fluropolymer coated glass fabric air trap ( E-value 0.4, light transmission 10%) E. Fabric hook F. primary fluropolymer coated glass fabric cushion G. secondary air gap H. primary air gap I. insulated secondary steel deck joist J. insulative panel K. primary steel deck joist L. service housing M. insulated cladding back panel

under heated interior climate

over heated interior climate

Like the spaces within the climate research station the exterior cladding reacts to climatic conditions through high tension housed bimetallics. Each bimetallic cushion increases and decreases its insulative air gap reacting to climatic conditions. The bimetallics expand in cold conditions increasing the air gap between the two fluropolymer glass coated fabric layers and decrease in over heated temperatures allowing excess heat to leave the interior space. 52

06. social and working structural decks

A. first floor raised deck B. second floor low social deck C. second floor high work deck D. third floor low social deck E. third floor high deck To encourage social interaction within the station, raised decks on each floor hold spaces of work separating them from the lower social decks. 53

07. laboratory test beds

Land test beds monitor and research activity upon the stations own land test beds by growing plant samples and studying the climatic affects upon them. The land labs also study activity upon the agricultural archipelagoes, monitoring the natural behaviour occurring upon them.

Water labs monitor sea and river levels via geo beading, collecting samples via inhouse pluvio meter test beds and also monitoring fish behaviour in the flood basin below and also on the fishery archipelagos. Air labs monitor and record wind speeds and atmospheric/ climatic conditions 54


east elevation 56


west elevation 58

south elevation 59

north elevation 60 lighting and shading devices aviod direct solar penatration into labortory spaces. 2. water heating/ cooling bay A 3. water heating/ cooling bay B 4. water heating/ cooling bay C 5. The roof is formed to mirror the Dutch polder landscape complete with power generating windmills. Apertures allow light to penetrate deep into the structures as well as collecting and storing water for heating and services. 6. Draught corridors are utilised for each space to keep interior heat loss to a minimum 7. Each space is cladded with the same climate reactive bimetallic insulation as the exterior facade. As the temperature drops the bimetallics expand within the two layers increasing the insulative air space between each layer and decreasing when temperatures increase. 8. The water barometer sits upon the low lying basin. As atmospheric pressure drops a storm is imminent and the level of the water within the basin raises, raising the water within in the barometer. If the water was to raise above the critical level indicating a strong storm, warning balloons are inflated and elevate above the structure in full view of Culemborg. 9. Fluoropolymer-coated glass fabric allows light to transmit into the interior as well as insulating. The bimetallic fabric facade mirrors the use of military camouflage nets used to hide fortifications along the waterline. A. Climate reactive bimetallic insulating facade B. Natural ventilation / lift shaft C. Insulated raised steel deck D. Rainwater sand filters E. Flood datum posts F. Pontoon walkway deck G. Climate reactive rain water harvesting facade H. Raised black water reed bed/ sand filtration I. Analogue weather station housing J. Sheltered seating K. Water barometer L. Low pressure triggered warning balloons M. Solar shading blinds N. Cor-ten dropped panel weather penetrative sub-roof O. Steel roof frame P. Water harvesting channels Q. Pluvio-meters for water labs R. Wind socs for air lab test bed S. Shaded cool water collection pools T. Solar water heating amplification tank U. Glazed roofing aperture V. Dropped shading roofing panels







6 7 8



ground Structural column and deck raisers/ pilling 1. fire escape stairs 2. structural bay A 3. structural bay B 4. structural bay C 5. sand filtration 6. reverse osmosis filtration 7. black water primary filtration 8. harvested water storage tanks 9. repository deck mount

01 1. water laboratory 02 2. water laboratory 03 3. laboratory services 4. cloakrooms 5. reception 6. large item repository 7. water barometer 8. public deck 9. black water reed bed and sand filters 10. land test beds 11. elevator 12. pluviometer test bed uprights 13. climate reactive water harvesting facade 63

02 1. land laboratory 02 2. land laboratory 03 3. W/C and pantry 4. library and seminar room 5. lecture preparation office 6. lecture theatre 7. medium item repository 8. social area 9. sheltered seating 10. analogue weather station housing

03 1. senior scientist office 2. air laboratory 3. air test bed 4. large store 5. observation deck 6. senior scientist office 7. senior scientist office 8. small item repository 64

section AA 1. land test beds 2. monitored fish habitat 3. senior scientist office 4. land lab 01 5. water lab 01 6. water table monitoring 7. social space 8. auditorium 9. cloud observation deck 10. bimetallic insulative facade 11. hydraulic elevator


12. reed bed filtration 13. flood datum markers 14. landscape energy harvesting 15. monitored pluvio meters 16. monitored wind socks 17. water barometer


section BB 1. climate reactive water harvesting facade 2. public pontoon deck 3. analog weather station 4. floor datum lamps 5. weather penetrative roof 6. pontoon mounted repository 7. storm warning balloons 8. cloaksrooms 9. library/ seminar room 10. glazed water insulated roof apertures 11. warm heating solar panel amplifier pools 12. reed bed and sandfilter black water filtration


In the event of serious flooding, the pontoon mounted deck and repository float and raise up through the structure, saving precious items stored within the repository’s lock box’s


Water and weather penetrate into the repository and public walkway altering sheltered seating roofs. The bimetalic pronged water harvesting facade creeks and moves as the air pressure changes. The repository provides small views through into the research stations main hall. Datum lighting glows along the walkway triggered by drops in pressure 69



entrance deck 72

Light filters through glazed apertures within the roof and is diffused by transparent surfaces within the interior. Water is pooled, collected, harvested and studied. The water barometers level rises and falls with atmospheric pressure. 73



birds eye view of the air test bed and laboratory 76





The New dutch water defence line Station of solatalgia Sam Brown 2011 final 10 shortlisted for RIBA presidents medals part 1 2011

Station of solatalgia  

An architectural resonse to the New Dutch water defense line