Vuurtoreneiland is located in the Marker Lake in front of Durgerdam in a special natural reserve. The island location offers a fortress and a lighthouse in magical coexistence of nature and history, which form a part of the UNESCO heritage ‘the Defense Line of Amsterdam’.
Staatsbosbeheer, manager of a sizeable amount of nature reserves in the Netherlands, wanted to open the three centuries old heritage to the public and selected Brian Boswijk en Sander Overeinder to redevelop the area. In the past few years the island had offered a summer restaurant. Recently a winter restaurant and a boutique hotel were added, located in the fortress. Arup signed up for the building services, sustainability advice and fire engineering, working closely together with KRFT Architects.
By using traditional low-tech techniques, such as an underground ventilation, helophyte water filtering and old fashioned wood stoves, the island is almost self-sufficient, which was a necessity on such a remote place, The electricity is the only exception and this is collected at the next-door wind-energy cooperation. The core of the energy system is the fireplace, where the heat of the kitchen is collected and stored.
The refurbishment is done in a subtle, almost invisible manner, in order to not disturb the existing atmosphere of melancholy, evoked by the influence of time on nature and history.