KOW wins competition for the World Sustainability Centre

KOW wins competition for the World Sustainability Centre
image by KOW

The Sustainability Centre Foundation, the Delft University of Technology and the Cartesius Institute initiated the international public ideas competition for the World Sustainability Centre Afsluitdijk. The findings of this competition will lead to recommendations on the future of the Afsluitdijk that will be presented to the Vice Minister in the spring of 2010.

The prize giving ceremony took place on November 27th. After a short program Margreeth de Boer, chairwoman of the jury, presented the assessment of the jury and unveiled the winning designs. A total of 80 parties submitted for this competition. KOW is one of the two first prize winners with their design ‘BiLinear’.

More images and project description after the break.

Outline of the submission

The Afsluitdijk will be raised using a concrete wall and floor structure on the Waddenzee side and a slope on the Ijsselmeer side. Thereby a void is created, which is about 20 m wide, about 5 m high and 30 km long. This way the added program can be housed in the dike instead of on top of the dike. The concrete structure serves as the backbone for the World Sustainability Centre and further future extensions and additions: The energy needed to maintain the centre will be renewable energy produced by wind, sun, earth and water. The production techniques will be exposed on the strip and are part of linear museum. The Food consumed in the café and restaurant will be produced on the dike. Strips consisting of crops from salt water farming, fish- and shrimp farms and sheep that are grazing on the dike display the menu on a 1:1 scale. All waste will be recycled. Waste water from the fish and shrimp farms will be used to irrigate vegetables in the salt-water farm. All other waste is going to be used to produce energy and to store energy by the production of hydrogen (for instance by biogas plants). A compact hydrogen-powered train brings the visitors to the desired destinations while, from the top of the dike, it provides the travelers with a panoramic view over the Waddenzee and over the Ijsselmeer.


As a dike intervention, this proposal is dependent on broader decisions concerning the future of the Afsluitdijk. From an urban planning point of view, it is a very clever intervention which is not confined to one location but has the potential to go on and on. The assessment is positive on all criteria. The proposal will not lead to the creation of a big icon like the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, but the jury considers this to be a strong, rather than a weak point. In contrast to some other proposals, attention has been paid to the need for public transport.

The Afsluitdijk as an icon for Sustainability!

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "KOW wins competition for the World Sustainability Centre" 01 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/42527/kow-wins-competition-for-the-world-sustainability-centre> ISSN 0719-8884

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