Safety pavilion, Knokke-Heist
This high-tech beach pavilion is the winning design of the Oproep WinVorm contest for a new Safety centre at the beach. The centre combines the functions of various emergency services (lifeguards, beach police, fire brigade) and offers them the ultimate view of the kilometres of beach.
The winning proposal for this Safety centre was designed by Compagnie-O architects, in cooperation with architect-artist John Körmeling.
Realised as a main centre with a view of the twelve lifeguard chairs at the waterline, it looks a lot like a washed-up buoy. Make no mistake, however, as this is a full-equipped Safety centre for lifeguards, the fire brigade and the beach police, with a coordination and first-aid centre, work and logistic stations for the lifeguards, public toilets and an observation post on the top floor. The yellow disk symbolises an efficiently well-oiled emergency service machine in the most compact way.
By considering the building a part of the public life at the beach, the centre suddenly turned into a pavilion. A freely-accessible corridor gives way to the full function of the interior: transparency brings beachgoers and the emergency personnel closer together. The corridor is a place to meet and stay, and puts the pavilion on the map as a landmark.
The interaction with the strolling and sun-bathing beachgoers is emphasised by literally making the pavilion speak to them. “Ladies and Gentlemen” the entrance of the public toilets is marked in illuminated letters. This sets the tone for a certain style of architecture that flirts with the border between playful and serious – a wink to Emberton’s iconic Pleasure Beach in Blackpool.
Source: Compagnie-O Architecten
Photos: TVDV Photography
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