Recently a so-called ‘sand motor’ was completed near Kijkduin. In an attempt to strengthen the Dutch coastline, an artificial dune was created. In about twenty years the wind and the current will gradually disperse the immense heap of sand over the coastal area as such reinforcing the shore and protecting the hinterland against the rising sea level. “Building with nature”.
A similar process of erosion and sedimentation formed the basis for a ‘democratic’ residential project that we did together with Buro Schie, long time ago. Schie produced an optimistic flyer: “Schie Power”, a plea for increased, sustainable consumption: if you use renewable energy you might as well waste it!
In the words of Michael Speaks:
Within the context of its forward planning project, Nederland 2030, the Dutch National Spatial Planning Agency commissioned Schie to come up with an innovative, unconventional vision of the Netherlands in the year 2030, full of new emotions, provocations and uncertainties.
The spatial consequences of unbridled consumerism have been translated into five spatial strategies aimed at achieving a greater variety of residential habitats.
The “Schie Power” advertising flyer which simulates supermarket flyers, for example, offers wonderful and inventive ecological solutions to urban design problems without being too heavy handed. Part of the flyer, the spatial designs produced for Schie by NL Architects, features a haltingly clever solution for housing on a series of “wandering islands” which because of erosion and other natural forces, actually move about in the ocean. A typical solution might try and stop the erosion of the island, before abandoning it altogether. Instead, Schie and NL proposed that rows of nomadic houses be built on a grid system, and as the island loses land mass on one side, the row of houses situated there are leapfrogged over the other houses by truck to the other side, thus forming the leading edge of housing as it follows wherever the land leads. Not only are the natural movements of the island and ocean undisturbed, but sooner or later everyone will have beach front property. Ecology and the market are both satisfied.