Former Officer Mess Fliegerhorst Twente

The Officer Mess is the central point in the Prins Bernhardpark. She has been built in 1940-1941 and among other things, it had served as an entertainment building. It has been used as officer mess since 1954, therefore since 1945 the officer mess was on an other street in Enschede, namely Overmaat. Due to the reopening on the current location the name Prins Bernhardcasino was given. After this the whole park was called Prins Bernhardpark. The several original elements are still visible. All of the real estate in the Prins Bernhardpark have mutual related details, like steel portholes and windows. Nowadays it isn't a officers mess anymore, but private property.

"The Luftwaffe built Fliegerhorst Twente with the starting point that it wouldn’t stand out from the air. The runways were painted green and farming was done on the adjacent green. The Prins Bernhardpark is, as well as Het Zuidkamp, an area with several different living quarters like an officer mess, accommodations, garages and more. The design was deliberately made spacious. The buildings were standardised designed and had to continue as farms from Twente. The architecture was German, and not from Twente, but seen from air this wouldn’t bother. The Luftwaffe preferred bright red bricks with walls from 55 centimetre thick, who were thought to be splinter repulsive. Sometimes the local architecture was used, like an saddle roof or a ‘top façade’ (as seen on Het Zuidkamp). The portholes in front of the windows were painted green/red/white (four triangles) to let it look more like real farms. Actually were the portholes made from steel, to protect the windows against splinters."

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  • Text: Alex Ossel
  • Photos: Alex Ossel