A huge lightbox is wedged underneath a wave-shaped viewing platform at the end of this pier, designed by Dutch architect René van Zuuk for a lake in the city of Almere (+ slideshow).
The 200-metre-long pier was created by René van Zuuk Architekten for the Weerwater lake in Almere – a city that occupies a landmass across the water from Amsterdam.
White, green and red lights were installed below a viewing point that rises towards the waterfront – a reference to the navigation lights on a boat that indicate port, starboard and stern.
The pier forms part of a larger commission for Van Zuuk’s studio that also include a bridge and an apartment block called The Wave.
While the first two projects were completed in 2004, Pier Weerwater Almere had stalled for several years, because there were doubts over whether a restaurant should be built on it.
“Originally the pier was intended as an access road to a restaurant in the Weerwater at the end of the pier, a route leading from the city centre to a place where you can sit and eat very close to the water,” the architect said.
The project was eventually restarted in 2010 when the PIT safety museum opened nearby. The museum hosts exhibits relating to the police, fire and medical emergency services, including historical vehicles and vessels.
Ships owned by the museum as well as passing cruise boats can be docked along the pier.
The different types of boat required the pier to have mooring heights between 50 and 100 centimetres, which led to the softly undulating shape formed from ribbons of decking that wave in opposing directions.
“The wooden deck of the pier solves the problem of the differences in height with long flowing waves at the west side of the pier,” explained Van Zuuk.
The rippling decking lifts off the boardwalk and meets at a three-metre-tall summit at the end of the pier. The curving form resembles the arched shape of a wave.
Below this elevated viewing point, green, white and red lighting illuminates integrated seating, designed to allow visitors to shelter from the wind and rain in inclement weather.
“The undulating wooden deck finishes in a great smooth wave of about three meters high in which a large stern light is located,” added Van Zuuk.
“The visitor can walk on the pier to the viewpoint on top of the wave to look at the vessels from a different perspective,” he added.
Photography is by René van Zuuk Architekten.
Architect: René van Zuuk Architekten
Client: PBS municipality of Almere
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