Tij Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Tij Bird Observatory, Scheelhoek Structure, Dutch Nature Reserve Building, Architecture Images

Tij Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Timber and Hay Building in Holland – design by RAU Architecten / RO&AD Architecten

18 Apr 2019

Tij Bird Observatory

Architects: RAU Architecten / RO&AD Architecten

Location: Scheelhoek, The Netherlands

TIJ means ‘tide’ which refers to the returning tides in the Haringvliet, but quickly pronounced it also means ‘the egg’.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Tij is the biggest and most striking of a series of objects designed to celebrate the opening of the Haringvliet sluices in November 2018. The sluices were opened in order to improve water quality and biodiversity, while also stimulating fish migration from the North Sea to the river delta system of Maas and Rhine in the Netherlands.

This will create a new, salt-resistant and salt-loving natural environment. The  biodiversity in the surrounding nature reserves will increase and a more robust, healthier ecosystem will develop in the coming years. To let  people experience and explore these changes, a series of bird observatories have been designed in the Haringvliet area. 

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Tij is an egg-shaped bird hide situated in Scheelhoek, a nature reserve close to the Haringvliet sluice near Stellendam, the Netherlands. The  reserve consists of large reed beds on the inside of the coastal defences and some flat sand islands outside. These islands are breeding  and feeding grounds for several species of birds like the common tern, spoonbill, and the icon of this area, the sandwich tern.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Tij observatory is part of a large scale landscaping plan where people can experience the Scheelhoek nature reserve in a walk from the car  parking area to the Ei. Walking along the path, visitors can view several types of bird biotope favoured by sand martins, several kind of  waders and, of course, terns.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

To prevent the birds from being disturbed, the last section of the path is actually a tunnel made of re-used mooring posts and second-hand azobe  planks which were once used in the brick industry. The tunnel is covered in sand to provide habitat for terns or waders. The outside of the  tunnel provides artificial nesting holes for sand martins. The end point  of the walking route is the egg-shaped bird hide from where you can view  hatching Terns and all the other species that live in and around the  water.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

The egg itself is modelled on a sandwich tern egg, and sits on a nest of sand, much like a tern would have done it herself. The nest of the egg  consists of vertical ‘feathers’ of chestnut poles, reeds and small sand dunes. The egg itself is parametrically designed to achieve a good ratio  between form, structural integrity, size of the timber, and size of the openings. The structure has been constructed as a File-to-Factory  Zollinger to provide relatively big spans with small timber parts. 

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

The lower part of the egg, which floods a few times a year, is made of  accoya. The upper part, which stays dry all year, is made of pine. The  upper part is thatched with local reed, harvested from the inside of the sea defences. The thatched roof stops just above the highest possible  water line. The floor inside the egg is a hybrid wood (CLT)- concrete  floor which acts as a structural stabiliser and from where there is a  beautiful view of the surrounding islands, the Haringvliet sluices and  the water.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Tij is thatched with local reed and has a timber structure which has been completely File-to-Factory produced in 402 parts and has been  assembled at the site. It can be completely dissembled. Through its  re-usability, its modularity, its materials and its contribution to the  nature environment, it is almost completely circular and sustainable.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Reflecting the transitory nature of all things, it must also be noted  that the Bird-EI is also temporary and will be taken apart at some point  in the future. At that time, it may be reused or recycled without  detrimental effects to nature or man.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

In this way, we have created an (eco)system where man and nature can  come closer together and be a part of each other’s world.

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Tij Bird Observatory, Scheelhoek – Building Information

Architects: RAU Architecten, Amsterdam ; RO&AD Architecten ; Bergen op Zoom
Design team RO&AD: Ad Kil, Ro Koster, Martin van Overveld, Athina Andreadou, Loyse Rebord, Rodrigo Altamirano
Design team RAU: Thomas Rau, Michel Tombal, Jochem Alferink

Commissioner: Vogelbescherming & Natuurmonumenten
Main structural engineer : BreedID, Den Haa
Structural engineer wood: Aalto University Finland
Wood engineering: Geometria, Finland
Landscape: H+N+S Landschaps Architectuur, Amersfoort
Contractor: Van Hese Infra, Middelbur
Thatched roof: Elg Rietdekkers, Schoonebeek
Location: natuurgebied De Scheelhoek, Stellendam, Nederland   
Start-End construction: 10-2018 – 03-2019
Function: Bird hide, bird observatory

TIJ Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek

Photography: Katja Effting, drone photograph: Merijn Koelink

Tij Bird Observatory in Scheelhoek images / information received 180419

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