The Race of Nature
“Most of the land these days is divided into tiny bits and pieces between many landowners. With vegetation, if you start planting the same kinds of grasses or trees as the ones that can be found in local, wild nature, eventually the area you plant will exhibit the same colors and shapes as other parts of the region and will visually merge with the local environment. And following the flora merge, creatures like birds and butterflies will also cross the boundary between the wild and the private property, and an exciting tale will be born.”
- Michio Tase
Always moving and changing: the wind, sea, sun; everything we see, is temporary. Every element of nature has its cycle and speed. An endless loop, like the circuit of Zandvoort. A place known for its history of racing and the return of Formula 1. Not everybody is positive about it as it is affecting the breeding and habitat of various species and emissions are dramatically high.
In order to improve and regenerate the local ecologies the circuit is repurposed into a research centre in the field of biodiversity, creating a place of encounters; between nature and architecture; animals and humans. Where boundaries are blurred and where landscape and building are intertwined. A building that represents a monument of change: the end of fossil fuel emissions.
A sustainable research environment that investigates two worlds: the abiotic and the biotic world; which creates spaces for an open dialogue with nature. Embedding nature into the design of the research centre is a key component of the project. The interiors and exteriors are intertwined with the rich ecosystems, which include the North Sea, beach, dunes, and freshwater lakes. Seamlessly integrated into the landscape, ‘Zandvoort Ecological institute’ embodies the future of research – one based on nature connectedness and deeply tied to environmental concerns. Bringing knowledge of nature through a focus on nature connection in order to encourage pro-nature behaviours.
The existing infrastructure – the track of the circuit – traverses through the site and connects the multiple buildings that dot its landscape. This extensive project integrates the entire site as part of the education process. It places the environment at the root for all research. A visually modular structure that mimics the dune landscape in form and produces a variety of spaces without losing a valuable and accessible landscape. The form and the bio-based materials make this building blend into the landscape.
Graduation date: 26 augustus 2021
Graduation committee: Marty Roy (mentor), Ira Koers,Thijs de Zeeuw.
Additional members for the exam: Bart Bulter, Dingeman Deijs.