The Story

Coastal areas are in great danger due to massive sea-level rise. The continuous human interventions in these areas prevent the low lands from drowning. As part of the research program related to coastal defence, a group of MSc students from TU Delft have developed an architectural intervention as a prototype for these areas.

The Wadden islands have been the barrier forces for the entire Netherlands for hundreds of years but due to the rising sea level they are under great pressure. Therefore, Oerol festival at Terschelling is a great platform to experiment and understand this concept interweaving it with art. To really understand the purpose of the project we would like to take you back in time when Terschelling did not exist.

Somewhere in between 100 – 500 AD there were two islands โ€“ Wexalia and De Schelling with the sea as a border between them. Due to the dynamic nature of the Wadden sea over the years these islands merged together and formed what we know today as Terschelling. Even though the natural processes shaped the island, the cultural differences were always visible between the east and the west. Hence, the design is located on an area where the two islands merged: encouraging a dialogue between man and nature, it tries to Gap The Border.

With this installation we aim to give insights into the principle of building with nature. We do this by recreating and accelerating the process of early dune formation. Therefore, the structure is based on the concept of sand accretion : catching and holding different sizes of sand particles which result in dune formation. By using old fencing techniques we investigate how to accrete sand with the help of artificial structures.

The structure is based on a modular system, meaning it can be extended and contracted as it needs to be. The main architectural axis cuts through the central spine of the border and the dynamic form of the structure is a result of the interplay between various heights and positioning of the construction elements. In collaboration with the outer structures, the installation forms an interactive tour through dune formation processes. At the same time it provides a foundation for building with nature by researching the opportunities to build and maintain dunes.

To deal with the consequences of sea-level rise, the installation aims to give insights into cultivation of the dynamic coastal landscape. The public becomes aware of the effect of human interventions on the natural processes by using the border as a catalyst to interfere with the landscape.

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