Afsluitdijk Wadden Center, the Netherlands
The Afsluitdijk Wadden Center is a museum and a visitor center in Kornwerderzand, a settlement at the northern end of the Afsluitdijk causeway, about 100 kilometers / 62 miles north of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The center presents the culture and natural landscape of the Wadden See intertidal zone – a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the North Sea- together with the history of the world-famous Zuiderzee Works dam system, and of the Afsluitdijk causeway itself.
Designed by Dutch architectural office GEAR Architectencoöperatie, the 1,550-square-meter / 16,680-square-foot building of the Afsluitdijk Wadden Center is a rather peculiar two-story construction whose facades are composed of a number of white hexagonal elements. The shape of the elements is inspired by the basalt blocks of which the Afsluitdijk causeway, built in the 1930s, was made, while their milky color evokes that of the North Sea foam.
Opened in Spring 2018, the center contains a 463-square-meter /4.980-square-foot permanent exhibition gallery, a small 4D cinema, various visitor services, staff offices, meeting rooms, a shop, a restaurant, and a panoramic terrace.
The permanent exhibition of the Afsluitdijk Wadden Center depicts history, flora, and fauna of the Wadden Sea region by the means of interactive exhibits, videos, photographs, graphics panels, and a 10-language mobile app for smartphones and tablets.
The exhibition also includes a 15-minute-long 4D video experience, entitled Aquavista.
Afsluitdijk Wadden Center, exterior views. Photos Gerard van Beek
Afsluitdijk Wadden Center, North elevation, and longitudinal section looking North. Drawings courtesy of GEAR Architectencoöperatie
Interior and exterior views of the facade. Photos Gerard van Beek
A statue celebrating the construction of the Afsluitdijk causeway; the hexagonal basalt blocks which form the dam and inspired the design of the facades of the center are clearly visible in the foreground. Photo Bertknot
Close-up view of a facade corner. Photo Walther Siksma
Afsluitdijk Wadden Center, view of the permanent exhibition.
Cover image: Afsluitdijk Wadden Center, Kornwerderzand, the Netherlands. Photo Egbert de Boer courtesy of Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma