Located in the southern part of Jutland, Denmark, the Wadden Sea is Denmark’s largest national park and appointed World Heritage by UNESCO. The mudflats of the sea banks cover a stretch of 500 km along the coast of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The landscape, the biological richness and the many migratory birds make the area unique, and also a favoured tourist destination that attracts many visitors every year. The dynamics of the tide enriches the wildlife habitats in the region, but they also make it an unpredictable and dangerous landscape to tour in, and it has to be treated with respect.
Dorte Mandrup Architects
Steensen & Varming
Marianne Levinsen Landskab
JAC studios + Jason Bruges & No Parking
The Wadden Sea Centre is the gate to the national park and is an interpretation of the local building tradition and the rural farmhouse typology significant in the area. The thatched roof and facades underline the tactile qualities and robustness that can be found in the traditional crafts and materials of the region.
One of the main goals of the Wadden Sea Centre is to create awareness and understanding of the marshland and the sea, and the architecture accentuates this goal by being in harmony with the vast, horizontal landscape of the marsh. With an exhibition space, teaching and research facilities, cafe and a shop, the centre promotes the natural wildlife of the park for visitors from all over the world. Also, the centre is the entry point for guided tours of the Wadden Sea, supplying careful information on wildlife and tide dynamics. The idea behind the teaching environment is that knowledge is gained through experience, and college classes, schools and kindergartens learn about the fauna, flora and the geomorphologic features of the landscape through biology and geography exercises.