Nina Blatter & Stéphanie Roux
The Wadden Sea is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It forms a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands. For demographic, economic and agricultural reasons, the Wadden Sea is one of the world‘s seas whose coastline has been most modified by humans. Over the last century, the protective systems that have been installed were able to hold the raise in water levels of about 17 cm. However, these levels are estimated to approximately reach another 60 cm by the end of the current century.
An element that helps protect the coasts from flooding are the salt marshes. In fact, these intertidal zones are delimitated by wooden barriers created by man in order to reclaim land from the ocean. With the tide come sediments that are then held back by the wood enclosure as the water retreats. Salt tolerant species then stick to the mudflats making it more stable and bringing oxygen into the soil for regular plants to grow in these coastal ecosystems.
Reclaiming land in front of the Afsluitdijk, in the Netherlands could help protect it, as well as everything it currently keeps dry, from future water damage. The project therefore lies in front of this dam creating salt marshes combined with a new housing proposal that will last despite the sea level increase. In every corner of the land reclamation stands a house whose basic structure is formed by the vertical extension of the latter’s wooden structure.