Vesting Warmte (Stronghold Warmth), situated in a nature reserve on the island of Ameland, is a geothermal heat plant that offers the experience of warm water directly at the source. It is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and travelers who hike across the mudflats.
Fascinated by two contradictory actions of humans, namely wanting to live more energy efficient while being clumsy in their energy use, I searched to connect the two using a spatial arrangement. I believe that the unartful energy use is rooted in a lack of physical contact with the energy source.
In Vesting Warmte, everything is organized so that the spaces and senses are oriented toward the energy source. With this design I want to raise awareness about energy flows and contribute to the energy transition.
Because producing energy typically does not coincide with appreciating nature, I see it as a challenge to design a synergy between energy production and nature. On the site of Vesting Warmte lies a great opportunity. While the site is currently used for mining natural gas, it is surrounded by young and versatile nature. These circumstances encourage strengthening the relation between the energy source and the spatial qualities of the landscape. Furthermore, Ameland wishes to go forward in how they use energy. They want to be a forerunner the energy transition and present themselves as a test bed for the Netherlands. The island wants to be energy independent and reduce their use of fossil fuels.
Vesting Warmte is a break in a journey through the landscape. With its spaces directed to specific parts of the surrounding, it will be a safe night halt where travelers are woken by the warmth of the morning sun. It is a place where you can bath in the warm water straight from the source and then have dinner while overlooking the mudflats you crossed. The space invites visitors to enjoy and contemplate nature, life, and energy.