Design: RO&AD Architecten, RAU Architecten
Engineer: Breed ID, Aalto University Finnland, Geometria
Landscape architecture: H+N+S Landschaftsarchitektur
Thatched roof: Elg Rietdekkers, Schoonebeek
A Beached Ovoid: Tij Bird Hide by RO&AD Architecten
Client: Vogelbescherming & Natuurmonumenten
Architects: RO&AD Architecten, RAU Architecten
Location: Naturschutzgebiet De Scheelhoek, Stellendam, Netherlands (NL)
“Tij” is a play on the Dutch words for tide and egg, which share similar pronunciation. Both terms play a role in the design; at times, the tidal waters flow beneath the ovoid overall shape.
The influence of the tides required the use of selected materials: in the area close to the ground, the construction consists of acetylated wood, whose chemical coating provides protection from mildew and moisture. Farther up, this special treatment is not needed, and untreated sprucewood has been used. A roof covering of native reeds covers the structure and ends just above the highest expected water level.
The wooden supporting structure is clearly visible from the inside of the hide. The 402 prefabricated elements seem to have been interlaced like a woven nest. In some places, the reed covering has holes which allow light inside. In particular, two openings stand out: the network of the wooden construction runs together at both ends of the basic shape, directing attention to the circular holes there. The result is an atmospheric concordance of natural building materials, light and shade.
Integration into the Ecosystem
As the bird hide is located on the Scheelhoek nature reserve, a sensitive approach to the surrounding ecosystem was of great importance. Therefore, visitors enter the Tij via a pathway that leads underground just in front of the structure. Peepholes allow fleeting glimpses of gulls and terns, which can brood undisturbed. Thanks to its modular construction, material palette and joining techniques, the Tij can be completely dismantled. It is then possible to either rebuild or recycle it. In any case, the project will have no deleterious effect on the environment.