Within the framework of the project “Integral Coast Management West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen”, several developments are taking place to upgrade the coastline of Zeeland, a province in the south of the Netherlands. For the small city of Breskens, Crepain Binst Architects designed a pedestrian route, linking several objects of interest. Buro Lubbers designed two of these objects, the lookout point near the boat slip and a panoramic terrace in the dunes. Both objects are similar in form language and materialisation and harmonise with the rugged character of the harbour and the coast.
The lookout point is located at the lively heart of the fishing port in Breskens, next to the boat slip and several fish restaurants. The design concept is basically a sequence of viewpoints. The different levels in the design stimulate a variety in use. The lookout point is accessible from the wharf. The wall facing the harbour has a transparent character, whereas the wall facing the boat slip is closed. With a few steps down, the structure “folds” closer towards the water. A small strip remains at the same level though. It creates a place to sit and a step to get a better view at the harbour. Reaching the end of the structure, the space is enclosed by 3 walls, leading the view towards the boat slip. This space is sheltered from the wind so it’s a comfortable spot to sit and relax, enjoying the launching of ships from the boat slip. The view point is visited by many tourists, locals and dockworkers. The structure is made from wood and steel. The rugged character fits in the surroundings, dominated by wind and sea.
The panoramic terrace is situated at the end of the pedestrian route. It is already visible from quite a distance. A robust stairway with closed side walls, referring to the lookout point, leads towards the panoramic terrace, floating 5 meters above the dunes. The terrace offers a magnificent look on the entire coast and the opposite shore of the Westerschelde, revealing the skyline of the harbour town of Vlissingen. The structure is supported by large columns, which have formerly been used as mooring dolphins in the harbour. The terrace plays with the perception of the vistor, just like the lookout point. Walking down the stairs, the tapering shape of the stairways decreases the perception of perspective, while climbing up it is dramatically increased. Both elements are part of a series of similar projects recently designed by Buro Lubbers.
Landscape architecture: Buro Lubbers
Location: Breskens, Netherlands
Costs: Lookout point: € 33.000; Panorama terrace: € 136.000
Realization: Lookout point: spring 2005; Panorama terrace: spring 2006
Photos and text: Buro Lubbers