At the Hollandse Dijk, on the border between Amstelveen and Uithoorn, Waternet has built the new water pumping station on the Noorderlegmeer polder. The Viviparus water snail provided the inspiration for the shape of the watermill. Oostindie Architecten and Buro van der Goes architects worked on the design of this extraordinary project together.

Project details

Reference object
A Water Mill with an Extraordinary Shape
Architect
Oostindie Architecten and Buro van der Goes architects
Client Waternet
Roof tiles used

Leipan 301  in serveral colors: grey – red – blue – black – brown glazed

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Watergemaal Uithoorn, The Netherlands © DigiDaan

Inspired by the function of a mill and the shape of a snail

Oostindie Architecten had already been working for Waternet for years when the project for the new watermill came up. Oostindie: "When the competition to design the Noorderlegmeer polder mill came up I was asked to take part. Because this was a bigger project than my small firm could handle, I brought in Buro van der Goes. We won the contest and then continued to design and manage the project together."
 
"This shape was inspired by the function of the mill: to pump water from the polder into the river, which is a linear movement, but also by the shape of a snail naturally occurring in the meadow. The working name for the project therefore became 'Viviparus'" explains Oostindie. Van der Goes added: "The sections that you see in the shell of the viviparus are reflected in the building."

Timeless and natural look

The roofing was difficult to determine. Oostindie: "Initially, we presented a zinc roof to Waternet, but they didn't want that due to the effect of zinc on water quality. So we gave some more thought to other materials that could be used. Fired products seemed an obvious choice to us. We also wanted to create a timeless, natural look", continues Oostindie.
 
This was a challenge for the architects. Van der Goes: "The roof is made up of shapes that taper off to taps. So it all has to taper off. At the start we looked into whether it would be possible to make it and ensure it was watertight. Is it all technically possible?" Oostindie adds: "The problem was also how to fit the tiles on the top. There are now two chaperon tiles placed opposite each other with a gutter concealed underneath."
The roof shows a range of colours.
 
Oostindie: "To ensure it was a nice pattern, we came up with a structure for the tiles." Van der Goes: "If you see a viviparus, it also has a lot of colours on its shell. This provides a very varied look."

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