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Architect selection/ Water mirror/ Vughtergate/ ‘s-Hertogenbosch/ NL

2016

 

Visible history

Visualization of history is a great educational tool for people interested in their own past. Knowledge of history is of paramount importance for our identity. In the public domain, there are two different ways to make history visible. This is the reconstruction of the original situation or the reinterpretation of history. The Vughter gate is not a fixed historical situation. There are, after all, different ‘Vughter gates’. There was a medieval situation with a port and city walls. The gate is placed forward in order to make it a renaissance fortress. A reconstruction is difficult if you don’t have visible relicts of a specific time period.

 

Vughtergate, revisited

A reinterpretation of the history seems to be the most obvious design strategy. There are no significant visible relicts on the site. The Vughter gate is the southern entrance of the city and access to Vughterstraat and the market in the centre of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. We realize a new gatehouse with some apartments and a space for all kinds of cultural and community events. The Dutch historic town gate is made up of a single tower with a port underneath or a double tower with the port in between. The port is reinterpreted as a cubic volume with a crossbar on top. This angle is the new icon for the gate and the entrance to the Vughterstraat. The Vughter gate location is surrounded on all sides by water. It is the water of the Bossche Broek marshland, the Dommel river and the drainage canal of the city to the river Maas. This water is essential for the defense of the city and the gate. We introduce a new water mirror in front of the porthouse. In spring and summer it is a mirror with splashing water and in winter a town square with all kinds of cultural activities. The square is articulated by a number of segments and cut by the slow traffic axis of the Vughter straat. Narrow paths are introduced between segments with sitting edges on the sides.

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