Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
RoofingFirestone Building Products EMEA
ManufacturersROCKWOOL International A/S
ManufacturersZumtobel Lighting Gmbh
ManufacturersKingspan Group
ManufacturersURSA
ManufacturersVELUX Commercial

Product Spec Sheet

Het Zwin Nature center

Coussée & Goris Architecten as Architects

Situated within the dunes, mudflats, and salt marshes of a protected bird and nature reserve, this visitor centre in Eastern Belgium is the result of a winning 2015 design competition entry by COUSSÉE  & GORIS Architects.  The centre consists of four linear entities, constructed as wooden porticos with different heights that house a reception area with cafeteria, exhibition space, staff- and seminar rooms, and an observation post. The central building is made of reinforced concrete and is enclosed by two parallel volumes. With extensive green roof areas, the buildings are closely integrated into the landscape that surrounds.


More from the Architects:

The bird and nature reserve ‘Het Zwin’ is a protected nature area between Flanders and the Netherlands. The assignment included the redesign of the existing natural park and the creation of a new visitor center.


The authentic maritime landscape with its sand dunes, mud flats and salt marshes, modelled by the sea breeze, consists mainly of wavy lines. Within this wavy landscape COUSSÉE & GORIS architects constructed abstract linear volumes as anchors in the landscape. These architectural interventions consist of a series of parallel lines, that on one hand structure the landscape and on the other hand shelter as wind screens in the Zwin area. They also create a fluent transition between the silted forest and the redeveloped plain ‘Kleynevlakte’. They protect man from nature and vice versa. Cultural characters were evaded to maximize the natural character of the reserve. 


VISITOR CENTER 

The visitor center consists out of four linear entities, constructed as wooden porticoswith different heights. They include a reception area with cafeteria, exhibition space, staff- and seminar rooms and an observation post.  The central building is fully made of reinforced concrete and is enclosed by two parallel volumes. The exhibition space is formed by the structural concept of its volume. By providing diagonal stanchions on both sides of the space, horizontal stability is guaranteed. The diagonal columns guide the visitors between the different parts of the exhibition.


WATCH CENTER

On the dyke betweenthe park and the lowland of the reserve, the watch center emerges, from where you can enjoy watching the tides, plants and the coming and going of the numerous birds, etc. The structure consists of five parallel walls, making an incision in the landscape. They are made out of rough concrete, as a reference to existing bunker constructions. The concrete walls are inverted on the outside as they function as a shelter for man from nature elements.

Sustainable roofs for Belgian nature reserve with RubberGard EPDM

Firestone Building Products EMEA as Roofing

Located at Het Zwin, one of the oldest nature reserves in Belgium, a visitor centre designed by COUSSÉE & GORIS Architects sets the standard for sustainable design by integrating with the surrounding landscape and making efficient use of both building materials and resources. A green roof system features prominently in the design, covering 1700 m2 of the main building. A Firestone RubberGard EPDM membrane that is fully compatible with green roofs and allows for rainwater recuperation for use in the toilets was specified. The dark colour of the membrane is furthermore in harmony aesthetically with the concrete structure of the building and the wood cladding.


More from the Manufacturer:

Located at the eastern end of the Belgian coast, Het Zwin is one of the oldest nature reserves in Belgium. In 2015 the building owners launched a competition for the design of a new building that would house the ticket office, exhibition spaces, a cafeteria, conference rooms and a bird observation post.

 

The winning proposal was resolutely sustainable and respectful of the environment, favoring the efficient use of materials and resources. In terms of roofing, it specified a durable and efficient waterproofing membrane that would be fully compatible with green roofs and would allow rainwater recuperation for use in toilets.

 

In total, 4,500 m² of Firestone RubberGard EPDM roofing membranes were installed on the main building of Het Zwin, of which 1,700 m² are green roofs. 

 

The membrane’s dark color is in total harmony with the concrete structure of the building and the wood cladding, sourced from sustainably managed forests. 

 

The RubberGard EPDM membrane effectively resists UV rays and ozone and has a service life of over 50 years. Because it is inert and free from harmful substances, it allows the recuperation of rainwater for sanitary use. It is also resistant to root penetration, which is a key requirement for green roof systems. 

 

Want to learn more about the RubberGard EPDM product, visit our product page and request your EPDM sample. Discover all about this project.

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