World Sustainability Center, Den Oever

Connect and close

The Sustainable Lane

The monumental value of the Afsluitdijk is secured by building the WSC, in which the original function will be made visible in its purest form. To connect and to close. Opposite to the transformations that the dyke has made during its existence by integrating intelligent interventions, so that the protective task and the qualities of the landscape could be redeveloped, in this design however we decided to clearly make an addition.

A mechanism will be added to the dyke that makes it possible to totally separate the current leisure function from the connective function. In this way we can undo the dyke from the excess baggage that was created to accommodate tourists, like parking lots and bus stops. An extra lane will be added, intended for sustainable traffic. This lane will be used by an ongoing sustainable traffic system, through which people are enabled to visit all sites of interest and scientific importance. This lane will also be made available to the innovative automotive industry, so that they will have the opportunity to showcase and test the latest developments in the area of sustainable transportation.

The Afsluitdijk will have two main addresses, situated on the two respective landing points where the sustainable lane makes a loop to continue the movement. The location of the lane, situated against the existing profile of the dyke, will enhance the experience travelling with sustainable transportation, lacking the unpleasantness of exhaustion and noise. Thus becoming a full and rich experience of the landscape through which one is travelling.


Continuity and Transiency

Round Body

The form of the building is round. This form symbolises the characteristic cyclic dynamics of sustainability; the everlasting continuity. The sea moves as the earth turns; the ongoing changes of her position in relationship to the sun and the moon generates the movement of the sea and thus creates energy. This mechanism also incorporates the essence of decay. The experience of this movement expresses itself in the building by means of a floating platform for boats, related directly to a spiral staircase in the centre of the building that moves with the swell of the sea.

The continuity of energy from sustainable sources likes sun, wind and water, in contrast with the earthly transiency induces fascination. The immaterial versus the material. The beauty of decay is most impressive when related to the imperishable.

When related to the imperishable, the beauty of disintegration and aging will have the maximum impact on the senses. The design of the WSC on the Afsluitdijk clearly expresses this relationship. The cycle of aging and replacement plays a part in both the materials as the program of this building. Material transience in different speeds shapes the body that is being conditioned by sustainably energy. The materialisation of the body is created in light of sustainable conservation and recyclable qualities. The transience of the installation is acknowledged as this is woven as a separate, replaceable own body through the main structure and the main mass. The formal specificity of the body is established by a looking for a relationship with the most defining aspects of the assignment: the direction of both the connection and the occlusion.

The situation of the building is linked to the scenario of West 8, Boskalis and Witteveen & Bos, called ‘Monument Afsluitdijk’ and is determined in relationship to the planned Blue Energy power station.


Blue Moon

Structure is sculpture

The building is brought to live by the programme. It houses functions as a hotel, offices, a cinema, a restaurant, a bar and an auditorium. An expo space is spread out over all the floors which are connected by the spiral stair.  The activity will set in the minds of the visitor together with its appearance. The movement and the silhouette. Every new visit will refresh the image of the silhouette and creates an awareness of the dynamics of live. The programme symbolises live in the building, live as part of the function of the WSC in which a certain cycle is renewed based on the latest developments in the area of sustainability. This cycle will be related to the Blue Moon cycle.

A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. Usually months have only one full moon, but occasionally a second one sneaks in. Full moons are separated by 29 days, while most months are 30 or 31 days long; so it is possible to fit two full moons in a single month. A blue moon occurs about once in 2.5 years on average. The Blue Moon is the soul of the building, nurturing live.

The sculpture will appear when the silhouette is approached via a circular movement. The form of the building is round: the space is cut out from an upright cylinder. The remaining mass creates a sculptural scheme of free plan floors so that a very flexible building landscape is created. This flexible sculpture with iconic qualities has a long lasting existence and can potentially outlive many generations.

The structure is the sculpture. The structure is the carrier of several cycles and entails two other categories: the wind – water layer and the housing of the fully conditioned space.

The fact that this exists side by side in a unilateral dependent relationship, makes sure that the building is functionally adaptable in time and gives every single category the opportunity to develop itself into its own pure identity.


Den Oever


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