In 2012, Sweco Belgium – then Grontmij – together with Coussé & Goris architects, won the competition organized by the province of West Flanders for the layout of the spacious park area of the Zwin and the realization of the new visitors centre. The goal is to eventually attract more visitors, without compromising in terms of nature and experiential value. Our landscape and nature experts previously worked on the restoration and management of the Zwin nature reserve, its expansion and the redevelopment of the adjacent Kleyne Vlakte (Kleyne Plain).
The visitors centre aims to be a model of innovation. The concept is based on sociological, environmental and cultural dimensions that lead to creating extraordinary experiences. The building will have its own atmosphere, which expresses its educational and human character and which enters into a dialogue with the authentic Zwin Plain and the visitors.
The entire Zwin Park was renewed, wherein all existing infrastructure was replaced and more typical dune (woodland) biotopes were created. The starting points were the integration and bundling of the new nature with the Zwin Nature and the concentration of activities in two buildings that were horizontally integrated into the Zwin Landscape.
The Zwin Park is the centrepiece in a unique landscape. It is surrounded by the Zwin Plain and its recent extension, the Kleyne Vlakte nature reserve, which was developed a few years ago, the Zwin woods and the dune belt on the North Sea. It was not an option to place all kinds of spectacular, non-nature-oriented attractions in the Zwin Park. The focus had to remain on observation and perception of the landscape.
Name of the project: Zwin, Knokke-Heist www.zwin.be
Project category: Public Project
Other designers involved in the design of landscape (if any): Coussé & Goris, building
Project location: Zwin Natuur Park – Graaf Léon Lippensdreef 8 – 8300 Knokke-Heist / GPS coördinaten: 51.3580, 3.3459
Design year: 2011-2013
Year Built: 2013-2017