The HydraPier Pavilion

Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands
The HydraPier Pavilion was built in 2002 as the winning project in an international competition for the main municipal pavilion of the Floriade International Exposition.

Asymptote's design for the HydraPier was inspired by an interest in the contradictory nature of its situation and site that was at once a pastoral landscaped setting while located directly beneath the flight path for the Airbus 380A landing at nearby Schiphol Airport. The solution was an architecture that incorporated both strong material and formal aspects derived from aerospace technologies as well as inspiration drawn from the surrounding 'Dutch' manicured landscape. Coupled with these preoccupations were readings made of the rich technological and cultural history of hydro engineering specifically within the Dutch context of land retrieval from the open sea. The HydraPier appears to be jutting out into the polder on which it is sited and has become an icon and symbol for the city of Haarlemmermeer Bos, where the predominate architectural presence throughout the area are pavilions that bridge the land and water.

The building is comprised of two wings like roof structures that are supported in the center by glass walls activated by cascading water that flows from the inclined roof planes onto the glass walls. The gap between these two water walls is a blurred transition space through which the visitor passes, marking the threshold between the land and watersides of the pavilion. Water flowing on the roof above is also experienced through a large glass aperture that projects ephemeral light effects onto the pavilion floor. In the interior a multimedia exhibition space looks out towards water and the landscape in the horizon. From the vantage point of the shore, the shimmering pavilion with its two converging roof planes forms a striking floating silhouette. The architecture of the HydraPier melds technological imagery with water and nature to achieve a unique and powerful architectural statement set within a picturesque Dutch landscape

Another aspect of this work is the constant dialog with water. Here the actual use of streaming and cascading water is completely merged with the architecture as it is engineered to run constantly over all the buildings horizontally inclined surfaces. And throughout the pavilion there are unexpected experiences with falling, contained and moving water that serve to activate the and animate the architecture as a public space of curiosity and delight.

Project Information
Date: 2002

Size: 1,650 sqm

Location: Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands

Design Team:

Architect: Asymptote Architecture

Design: Hani Rashid, Lise Anne Couture

Project Director: Elaine Didyk

Design Team: John Cleater, Noboru Ota, Elain Didyk

Birgit Schoenbrodt, Jose Salinas,Gemma Koppen, Martin Thue

Jacobsen, Alain Merkli, Moritz Schoendorf, Rafal Bajuk

Client: Municipality of Haarlemmermeer


Associate Architect: Architektenburo Bronsvoort bna

Structural Engineer: Ingenieursbureau Smitwesterman

Glass Structure: Octatube Space Structures b.v.

Water Engineering: Lotec b.v.

Contractor: Nijhuis Bouw b.v. Utrecht Project

Management: Infocus Bouwmanagement b.v.

Lighting Consultant: Hollands Licht