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The landscape of North Holland is shaped by a long tradition of water management. In 1923 a number of outposts were built as shelter for workers, horses and equipement used for maintenance and emergency reparations of the dike system. Today, they stand obsolete along the dikes of the IJsselmeer, as monuments to the story of the polder and its shelter from the water. The shelter at Scharwoude has been chosen as pilot project for the repurposing of these characteristic structures.

The project investigates the transformation of the Scharwoude shelter into a sustainable guesthouse. The aim is to transform the structure in a way that respects its austere character from outside and sharp framed views of the landscape from inside.

Interventions follow the system of the original building. New windows are placed in the second skin, inside existing openings. With shutters closed, the image of a mysterious black object remains preserved. The general symmetry is continued in the new spatial layout. The alternating patterns in the wood cladding of the facade return into the new architecture of the interior.

New openings will be added to the roof structure that will project rays of light to the interior, much alike to the play of light through the gaps of the current facade. The wooden structure will remain visible and will be reinforced to meet new standards. The guesthouse will showcase the latest energy technologies and sustainable materials, partly sourced from the Hoogheemraadschap body for water management operations itself.