Winning architectural design for the Wadden Sea’s future trilateral partnership center receives award

With her design for the trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center the Danish architect Dorte Mandrup was able to prevail over high-caliber competitors. On 22 March 2018 Wilhelmshaven's Urban Planning Officer Oliver Leinert handed her the first prize of the international architectural competition. 14 architectural offices were in the running for the construction of the new building on Banter See Park. Together with Lower Saxony's Environment Minister Olaf Lies and representatives of the three Wadden Sea countries Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands as well as the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) and the National Park Authority Wadden Sea Lower Saxony as future users of the office and conference building, the jury granted awards to the three winning designs. Furthermore, two recognitions were given.

In her eulogy, Professor Sabine Baumgart, the chairperson of the jury, highlighted Mandrup's design as a harmonious architectural interpretation of the contrasts of the Wadden Sea: the constant change of water and land is taken up playfully in the area around the building. The construction itself embodies the solidity and bulkiness of the bunker, while carrying filigree elements to counteract and dissolve it. “Spectacular simplicity is the key phrase of this design.”

Lower Saxony’s Environment Minister Olaf Lies praises the winning design as a gain for the cityscape of Wilhelmshaven. The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation receives a signal of pleasant cosmopolitanism. “With the Partnership Center, the protection of the transboundary Wadden Sea World Heritage site is given a new, widely visible home that lives up to its significance, also internationally. At the same time, it is an open invitation to all our partners to work with us,” said the Minister.

Wilhelmshaven‘s Urban Planning Officer Oliver Leinert sees the high quality of the submitted designs and the international attention of the competition as an approval for the city of Wilhelmshaven. “In terms of urban development we play in one of the top leagues. We are honoured by the great interest by internationally renowned offices in this flagship project. This will add another highlight to the urban development along the Jadealle.” The City of Wilhelmshaven has commissioned its land and building agency GGS with the construction of the Wadden Sea Center on the Banter See Park. Tomorrow the soil decontamination of the area begins with a ground-breaking ceremony.


The awardees:

1st prize: Dorte Madrup A/S with Marianne Levinsen Laskab ApS, Copenhagen

2nd prize: Ludloff + Ludloff Architekten with Herrburg Landschaftsarchitekten, Berlin

3rd prize: Formation A with Juca Landschaftsarchitektur, Berlin

Recognition: Architekten BKSP Grabau Leiber Obermann und Partner mbB with Peter Carl Landschaftsarchitekten, Hannover

Recognition: architekten prof. klaus sill + assoziierte GmbH, Hamburg


Prize money:

1st prize: EUR 20,000

2nd prize: EUR 12,000

3rd prize: EUR 8,000

Recognitions: EUR 5,000 each



From 22 March to 22 April the designs of the three awardees and two recognitions are exhibited at the UNESCO Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Center Wilhelmshaven.


Winning design (Dorte Mandrup):