Wadden Sea World Heritage Centre breaks ground

2 May 2023
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Dorte Mandrup

Dorte Mandrup




Dorte Mandrup’s third project on world’s largest intertidal sand flats begins

Construction has begun on the World Heritage Centre Wadden Sea, designed by Tenderstream member Dorte Mandrup. The Wadden Sea is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mudflats in the world, stretching from the coastline of Esbjerg in Denmark to Den Helder in the Netherlands. The building marks the firm’s third project in this unique environment, after the Wadden Sea Centre in Denmark and the Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Centre in Germany. 

The new centre in the Dutch seaside village of Lauwersoog, situated near the national park Lauwersmeer, will act as a working field station for students and researchers, as well as welcoming visitors keen to learn abou the area. Rising from the harbour, visitors are welcomed by a large stair and ramp leading to the main entrance. Towards the northwest, another stair provides a space to unwind and watch the tidal flats and ocean beyond. To the east, an outdoor field station consisting of dammed basins will work as an aquatic research base and recreational area. 

Inside, visitors enter the reception hall and move gradually upward through the building with a 360-degree scenic view of the surrounding landscape and the centre’s inner workings. Once visitors reach the second floor, the experience culminates with a glimpse into the underwater world of rescued seals in large show pools. On the roof visitors, will have the opportunity to see the pools from above, meet the seals up close or just enjoy the view.  

Dorte Mandrup stated: "Drawing inspiration from the the endless cycle of the tide, the gradual spiral-like incline – like the continuous rising and falling of the water surface – offers a stunning 360-degree view of the sea, the Lauwersmeer and the surrounding landscape as visitors ascend through the building.”

Lucy Nordberg

Tenderstream Head of Research

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