Knokke-Heist safety pavilion
From the Lichttorenplein on the Knokke dike, it’s easy for passers-by to notice the raised lifeguard’s nest but overlook the brightly coloured structure beneath it. Although the coastal town of Knokke in West Flanders initially requested a safety pavilion on the dike, the architects stuck to their guns and insisted on a beach location. The 17 m diameter yellow shape is reminiscent of a buoy, but there’s more to it than a rescue centre. The positioning of separate spaces for the coordination and first aid rooms, the public toilets and the interview room with staff kitchen and toilets creates a public passageway or internal street that anyone can simply wander into. Like the lifeguard’s nest, the entire primary supporting structure of the bottom part is made of steel. This is supplemented by a timber construction and fibre cement panels and finished with polurea. The lifeguard’s nest sits on a hollow central tube (660 x 40 mm) that absorbs all wind loads and protects the pipework between nest and pavilion.