Rozenburg is a small port town and former municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. After the second World War, the port of Rozenburg grew almost explosively along the Nieuwe Maas river towards the sea. To handle the burgeoning sea traffic, a canal was built in the late 1960s running parallel to the already present Nieuwe Waterweg canal.
The Caland canal - named after a Dutch civil engineer who was responsible for building of the Nieuwe Waterweg - served as an access for deep draft vessels, in particular bulk carriers and tankers of increasing dimensions that called at the Europoort docks. The narrow waterway, however, became increasingly difficult to navigate in strong winds, particularly around the Calandbrug bridge, as the ships became larger.
In the mid-1980s architect Martin Strujis and artist Frans de Wit were called upon for the task of creating an effective yet aesthetically pleasing wind barrier. The Rozenburg Windwall was the result of their effort.
Appearing like a large-scale landscape art installation, the Rozenburg Windwall utilizes around 125 individual concrete slabs shaped and grounded in a particular pattern, along a length of 1.75 km that reduces the wind onslaught by 75%. In the southern part of the Canal, the slabs are shaped in the form of semi-circles – 18 meters wide and 25 meters tall. As one progresses towards the Bridge of Calandbrug however, the semi-circle circumference of the Windwall is substantially reduced and each wall is also spaced more closely to each other. Around the bridge, the walls are only 4 meters wide. At its Northern end, the semi-circular slabs are replaced with square slabs 10 meters wide, which placed on top of a 15 meter embankment, attain the same 25m height as the other sections. The barrier continues in this form until it ends in a stand of trees near a gas storage facility.
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