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two buildings guarding the north sea


Construction will soon start on the Coast Guard Den Helder. We designed two super-functional buildings on the naval grounds, where technology and safety do not get the upper hand.

Commissioned by The Central Government Real Estate Agency, we designed an accommodation for the Coast Guard Den Helder. It involves a Maritime Operational Centre (MOC) and a Deviation, Training and Testing Location (UTT), both situated on the Den Helder naval terrain. Although standing apart, because of cepezed's recognisable kit of parts DNA, they are clearly related. If calamities or work on the MOC is diverted to the UTT, operators hardly have to adjust because rooms are quite similar.

The MOC monitors the Dutch part of the North Sea. The client's high ambitions and the social importance of the function made it an interesting assignment for us to work on. It involved a big and variated team, because under the Coast Guard flag are also personnel from the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the FIOD, and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, among others.

We chose a prominent horizontal façade line on the canal side, as a reference to the sea. The facade plinth is made of glass, and higher up we have used bamboo, which will age beautifully over time - we verified this experimentally since it has not yet been widely used as a facade material. The weathering suits a coastal building and suits the sustainability ambition of both cepezed and The Central Government Real Estate Agency.

kit of parts
Both the main building and training site are demountable with a view to unforeseen future developments. The façade is a separate removable element and we used dry, dismantleable connections. The floor fields can be flexibly partitioned. The kit of parts we applied here consists of a steel skeleton with concrete hollow-core slabs, wooden beams and wooden roofs. It was an interesting puzzle to design two demountable buildings, with such a high safety standard, as sustainable as possible.

In Den Helder, cepezed is also working on a new Squadron Building for the Ministry of Defence, commissioned by the The Central Government Real Estate Agency, whose definite design (DO) will soon be completed.

→ Read more about the design of the Den Helder Coast Guard here

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