Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center: Danish architect wins competition

A new milestone has been reached in the preparations for the construction of the trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Center. As announced by the Lower Saxon Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Protection and the City of Wilhelmshaven, on 7 February a decision was made on the design of the new center in Wilhelmshaven. The center is intended to become the new international address of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation and an internationally renowned symbol for the protection of the Wadden Sea World Heritage.

The jury selected Danish architect Dorte Mandrup from Copenhagen as winner of the international competition.

This design set itself apart with the presentation of a “world between worlds”, as the featureless space regularly changes its appearance mirroring the tides. The building is a creative abstraction of the Wadden Sea.

Lower Saxon Environmental Minister Olaf Lies sees the jury’s decision as an excellent signal for the international Wadden Sea cooperation. “The Wadden Sea World Heritage has a high significance for the entire North Sea region. Next to its protection it is important to make the landscape approachable and inform on as well as create an understanding of its uniqueness. Wilhelmshaven will now host a place of special attentiveness. In the process, something old will be transformed into something sustainable, as a war bunker will be converted into an international site of high significance for communication and nature conservation. The trilateral cooperation of the three states, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, on the protection of the Wadden Sea World Heritage gains a visible sign of a sympathetic cosmopolitanism. This is also a big gain for the cityscape of Wilhelmshaven,” says Lies.

14 renowned architectural offices from Germany and abroad submitted their designs for the building construction and landscaping of the surrounding Banter-See-Park in the framework of the architectural competition led by the City of Wilhelmshaven. A particular requirement was to integrate the Second World War bunker located on the attractive lot with a view of the Jade Bay into the new building.

The competition and realisation of the international partnership center is co-funded with EUR 4 million by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in the framework of the “Nationale Projekte des Städtebaus” (national urban design projects) Programme.

The Lower Saxon Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Protection funds the decontamination of soil and groundwater and also shoulders additional funding in the context of urban development. For the facility, which is planned to be located in the area of urban redevelopment "Jadeallee / Wiesbadenbrücke", urban development funds will be provided for the adjacent development and land acquisition.

On 22 March 2018 a month-long exhibition of the competition entries will be opened to the public at the Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Centre in Wilhelmshaven.

Perspectives of the winning design. Dorte Mandrup.