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Intertidal Landscape Polder Wassenaar Texel

The Salt Zones Foundation's innovative project in Polder Wassenaar explores forms of marine aquaculture, from sea lettuce to cockles, with a temporary installation of concrete ponds between the old and new dyke. Smartland developed a vision and sketch design for the polder after the experiment ends: transforming the polder into a salt marsh biotope. The proposal advocates creating an open passage between the polder and the Wadden Sea, fostering a natural ebb and flow that transforms the landscape naturally.

Smartland's strategic design, supported widely by stakeholders, envisions a future where the polder's nature development hinges on improved water supply. The design process prioritises a fresh-salt gradient, focusing on erosion, sedimentation, and a smart tidal basin to maintain an open passage. The resulting sketch features a connection to the Wadden Sea, creek sections, ground level variations, mounds, and pools, creating a diverse landscape.

Over time, the deliberate erosion and sedimentation, coupled with dismantling the concrete ponds, will transforme the area into natural 'nollen' with distinct vegetation patterns. The new habitat will attract diverse avian fauna. Three habitat schemes visualise this evolution, showcasing bird species from freshwater, saline creek, brackish salt marsh, and 'nollen', creating a vibrant ecosystem. The project not only addresses ecological concerns but also integrates local expertise, making it a model for sustainable landscape architecture.

Location: Texel, NL

Type: Landscape design and strategy

Status: Sketch design towards realisation

Client: Stichting Zilte Zones, Programma naar een Rijke Waddenzee

Team: Smartland, Waterproof


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