Watch this Seasaw hotspot designed as sea defense

Seasaw flood defense

MVRDV wins competition for landmark public installation in Den Helder with ‘infinite loop’ design

This stunning Seasaw concrete sea defensewill rock back and forth with the tide along the Dutch seashore. MVRDV recently won a competition to design a unique permanent art installation for the scenic coastal Dutch city of Den Helder.
The design, which will rise on a historic dyke north of Amsterdam, is a curvilinear observation platform that twists into an infinite loop perched several feet over the sea.

Wadden Sea, UNESCO Heritage

The platform itself undulates with the tides of the Wadden Sea, the UNESCO World Heritage site that is known of its otherworldly tidal mud flats, trenches, and islands that start in this part of the Netherlands and extend all the way to Denmark. The aptly-named Seasaw may not be suitable for anyone who gets easily seasick.

The design competition asked firms to imagine a landmark at the end of a three-mile-long alking and biking path the city is building along the dyke. This path will join different parts of the city, which were divided when Den Helder reinforced the long embankment that stops the sea from taking over this part of the country.

In this sense, MVRDV says its installation will offer a new perspective on both the sea and the city itself.

“The design responds to the current lack of a distinguishable symbol for Den Helder,” the firm writes in a statement. “Seasaw makes a new connection between land and water by creating a viewing platform on the dyke, and by the sea.”


It’s still unclear how the Seasaw will achieve its rocking motion or how would it work in synchronization with the tidal forces of the sea, though the project is set to be completed in 2019. Right now, the structure will utilize pre-stressed reinforced concretebut that this may change as they get into further into the project.

For most people, watching the sunset over the beautiful Wadden Sea is likely to be a blissful experience. The rest can only hope that MVRDV’s design includes free barf bags.


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