folly zicht zag

enhancing these bittersweet yet beautiful surroundings

Fate strikes on August 6, 2017. The Juliana Church on Heijplaat, in the harbour of Rotterdam, burns down. ZOETMULDER looked at it as a spatial gift, a publicly accessible space: Julianaplein. A new village square for the residents of Heijplaat.

To give new meaning to this location ZOETMULDER designed ‘Zicht Zag’. A folly, an intentionally useless structure, which does not prescribe what to do with the space but invites you to interact and experience the characteristics of Julianaplein. The folly consist of a folded structure of walls. First open and light, then narrow, high and dark, inviting you in and navigating you through the space. At the end the folly opens up towards the remaining structure of the burned down Juliana Church, framing the underlying beauty of the fire.

The former church hall has been stripped of its closed character. What remains are blackened brick walls with pieces of stucco, molten stone and deformed steel frames. These raw and damaged materials create a surreal atmosphere and at the same time tell the story of the church. The materialisation ZOETMULDER chose for the folly ‘Zicht Zag’ seeks a contrast, to enhance the experience of these bittersweet yet beautiful surroundings.

Sustainability matters to ZOETMULDER; ‘Zicht Zag’ is designed with cradle-to-cradle principles. All parts can be reassembled by removing the brass bolts. The walls are made from untreated compressed basalt panels that are cradle-to-cradle certified. And the columns are made out of FSC-certified wood which have been treated with a natural black pigment. Over time, under the influence of the weather, the colour of the folly will age beautifully like a natural patina.

The former Julianakerk is now owned by Nima Morkoç from HUM Design & Development.

Photography by Roza Schous.






Anton Zoetmulder, Elise Zoetmulder, Kate Stephenson




Rotterdam, Nederland (View on the map)


18 m2