Naval dockyard retains historical character
The docks and workshops of Rijkswerf Willemsoord, the former naval dockyard in Den Helder, are largely derelict, but not for much longer. A construction consortium including Schakel & Schrale, an HBG Utiliteitsbouw company, is working on a project to turn the yard into the 'Nederland over Zee' nautical theme park.
The theme park, together with Fort Kijkduin, aims to attract visitors from the flow of tourists to and from the island of Texel. Rijkswerf Willemsoord will have a series of themed exhibits, restaurants, conference facilities and a multiplex cinema. The adjacent naval museum and the Reddingmuseum Dorus Rijkers, which is devoted to rescue at sea, fit in perfectly with the plans.
Initially, Schakel & Schrale were contracted to undertake the structural renovation of six historical buildings, as well as various new-build works. For instance, the Reddingmuseum is to get new accommodation of very modern design, and the HBG group company is also building a covered winter garden for one of the restaurants. This basic contract, on behalf of the Den Helder municipal authority, has a value of ten million euros. Additional contracts worth €4.5 million for the renovation of a number of other buildings were subsequently awarded. Nederland over Zee ('Maritime Netherlands') will open to the public in 2004.