MVRDV design landmark installation for Den Helder

16 April 2018

Den Helder


New viewing platform reconnects city with the sea

MVRDV have won the competition for a public installation at the dike in Den Helder, a city located on the northernmost point of Holland and home to the country’s main naval base. The authorities planned the installation to provide a landmark in a city lacking an emblematic structure, and to counteract the obstruction of sea views by the flood defence system which runs from the dunes to the harbour. 

The winning design, called SeaSaw, makes a new connection between land and water by creating a viewing platform on the dike for the surrounding Marsdiep, North and Wadden Sea. A scenic 5-km walking, cycling and hiking route will weave across the dike, inviting visitors and residents to climb to the top and take a look at the other side. SeaSaw will be found at the junction of these routes, in the form of a bridge-like design in an infinite loop.

MVRDV crafted the design to signal the renewal and rediscovery of the dike and its surroundings with a landmark reflecting the tough and energetic identity of Den Helder. Jacob van Rijs, the firm’s co-founder, stated: "The SeaSaw for Den Helder is a memorable, undulating public art installation which responds to its context and history, whilst literally representing the dynamics of the sea in its infinite movement. The installation respects the existing dike whilst allowing visitors and inhabitants to experience both city and sea from a whole new perspective.”

MVRDV will work with IMD engineers towards the project's planned completion in 2019.

Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

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