Henrike Muenker

Henrike Muenker

Yachtbuilding Centre Westerdokseiland - Amsterdam. FH Aachen (Germany)

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1- The site

Westerdokseiland, in the north of central Amsterdam is part of the overall urban planning along the

banks of the IJ canal. The site ‘Stenen Hoofd’ stretches out into the IJ on which the building centre is going to be developed. In this part of Amsterdam, the shipbuilding industry used to be a major sector and some smaller shipyards still exist. The grain towers on ‘silodam’ have been preserved and converted into apartment blocks. Their scale is relevant for the new housing projects on Wester-


2- The idea

The combination of a boatyard (in which sailing yachts will be produced) with a public visiting centre, (to get an insight into the building procedures of glass-fiber-polycarbonate boats) is the main aim of my design. The fabrication process, however, should not be interrupted by the visitors.

3- The concept

Besides the urban planning aspects there is the building procedure of the boat itself that has a main influence on the design. The building is divided into three zones, which run linear in east-west direction.

First of all, there is administration in a row with the storage rooms, different workshops and staff facilities at the end. On two floors there are also spaces for the prefabrication of the different boat components.

In the second zone, these components will be assembled. The staff is able to work on deck level as well as underneath the hull without interference.

The third zone combines the red boxes moved into the south façade with the visitors’ balcony inside the shed. Altogether, this forms the visiting centre where information is provided about the building process of the boats without interrupting its continuity.

4- The transportation

One main element of a shipyard is the transportation of the various materials to the workshops and workstations. To achieve this, two half portal frame cranes were incorporated, which are able to carry different weights.

The extended crane way to the outside of the shed has an important influence on the overall appearance of the Yachtbuilding centre and shows the function of it to the outside.

5- The shed

The inner parts of the building are mainly arranged in a very rational and functional way. They are spanned by an independent steel skeleton structure, which varies in form and material. Together with the visiting centre these are the most representative parts of the building.

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