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Crossing the Lines - Sustainable redevelopment of former defence lines in Northwest Europe
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Description

This project focuses on restoring and redeveloping a specific element of European architectural heritage: former defence lines created during the Napoleonic era within or outside a number of cities of the NWE region. Conservation through re-development is the underlying philosophy behind this project. To achieve this, the three partners from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK will focus around four specific objectives. Firstly to 27 develop and test innovative restoration techniques [...]
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Website
http://www.crossingthelines.com/EN/


 Crossing the Lines - Sustainable redevelopment of former defence lines in Northwest Europe

Lead Partner:
Gemeente Utrecht
Postbus 8613, 3503 RP, Utrecht
NL
Tel 00 31 30 286 4822
Fax 0031 30 271 0047

Contact:
Mr. Thijs Offermans
Project Manager
t.offermans@utrecht.nl

Measure: 4.2

Start date: 2002/10/01
End date: 2006/12/31

ERDF Grant: € 1 625 000
Total eligible cost: € 3,25 M€


Partners involved:

NL - Gemeente Utrecht

BE - Gemeente Mortsel

UK - Essex County Council


Project type: Investment


Summary
This project focuses on restoring and redeveloping a specific element of European architectural heritage : former defence lines created during the Napoleonic era within or outside a number of cities of the NWE region. Conservation through re-development is the underlying philosophy behind this project. To achieve this, the three partners from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK will focus around four specific objectives. Firstly to develop and test innovative restoration techniques (particularly as regards brick restoration and climate control) as well as the use of sustainable energies. Secondly the partnership will make concrete investments to open up certain fortifications to the general public. In the UK, two Martello towers will be developed into multifunctionnal visitors centre, using arts as a means of communicating their value whilst in the Netherlands and Belgium two forts will be developed as a themed ‘fortress inn’ and a creative barracks for low impact tourism. These pilot projects will serve as testing grounds for the restoration techniques described above as well as for web-based visitor interpretation modules. There will be a strong transfer of knowledge at transnational level: each partner will visit and take part in the other restoration projects so as to share experience from the implementation of innovative restoration techniques, each partner will benefit from the input of a team of international experts and a range of promotion tools (brochures, website, travelling display) will be developed to raise public awareness and put defence lines ‘back on the map’.

Objectives

Specific aims of the project are:
  • To develop and implement knowledge on restoration techniques (climate control and brick work) and the use of sustainable energy for (post) Napoléonic fortifications through transnational studies and investment pilots. Placement visits are included in the project to maximise the mutual benefit of pilots for all partners. Techniques will be tried out at one location and consequently adopted at the others.
  • To make investments for opening up of fortification sites to the public and to jointly develop new presentation techniques on visiting opportunities, history and current use of post Napoléonic fortifications. Jaywick Tower (Essex) will be developed into a multifunctional visitors centre, using arts as a means to communicate its historical value. In Tilbury Fort emphasis is on development of a more appealing presentation of the fort to the public. Fort Aan de Klop will be redeveloped as “fortress inn” for low impact tourism. Fort IV (Mortsel) will be transformed into “creative barracks”, including both local functions and functions beyond local scope.
  • To strengthen the cooperation between (post) Napoléonic fortifications in Northwest Europe, to disseminate the results of this project to relevant stakeholders (these have already been identified and mostly contacted) and to explore the opportunities to develop a strategy for the protection of defence lines all over Northwest Europe – linking up with the ESDP and the Spatial Vision. In addition, we aim to provide input for the further implementation of spatial visions on the redevelopment of defence lines (where such visions are present) and to develop spatial visions where these do not yet exist – based on the experiences gained in this project and the experiences of other parties currently involved in redevelopment of defence lines
  • To make knowledge and information gained in this project available to: the general public, other fortifications and partners in the defence lines involved in this project. This is amongst others achieved through a book including the visiting opportunities of forts, webbased interactive information modules and an international touring exhibition.

Activities

Expected Outcomes

    Four Napoléonic / post-Napoléonic forts are (partly) being restored by innovative restoration techniques; results are available as templates for similar forts in NWE. Restoration includes:
  • the façade of the main barracks and right capponière of Fort IV (brick works), fitting out of capponière,
  • renovation of Jaywick tower, including urgent repairs, conservation repair, new works and fitting out (including sustainable energy system), external staircase and lift, landscaping around tower
  • renovation of a stone tower barrack and a wooden barrack at Fort Aan de Klop, landscaping
  • urgent repairs at Tilbury fort
  • Four sites have been redeveloped to establish or improve their cultural – tourism function and have been better opened up to the public in intellectual and physical terms
  • a campsite, tea house and hostel/inn at Fort Aan de Klop
  • improved interpretation and access at Tilbury fort
  • a mutifunctional visitors centre at Fort IV
  • a multifunctional visitors centre at Jaywick (including artworks, National Coast Institute Watchtower, exhibition rooms)
  • Three transnational studies on restoration techniques (sustainable energy, brick work, climate control)
  • A final report on restoration techniques, including results of the studies and evaluation of the restoration pilots)
  • An action plan for the joint promotion of defence lines in Northwest Europe – developed in cooperation with the parties that should carry out the projected actions
  • Overview of spatial planning initiatives on Napoléonic and post-Napoléonic defence lines in Northwest Europe
  • Action plan for a European strategy for the protection and redevelopment of defence lines (linking up to ESDP/Spatial Vision)
  • International touring exhibition on the history and current use of defence lines
  • Web-based interactive information modules
  • International publication on visiting opportunities of defence lines
  • Permanent network of defence lines (foundation)
  • 5 newsletters regarding the proceedings and results of the project

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