The Seasaw for Den Helder is a memorable, undulating public art installation which responds to its context and history, whilst literally representing the dynamics of the sea in its infinite movement. The installation respects the existing dike whilst allowing visitors and inhabitants to experience both city and sea from a whole new perspective. Completion of the public artwork is set for 2019.
Den Helder is located on the northernmost point of North-Holland and is home to the country’s main naval base. The city’s unique location and heritage make it a significant viewing point for Marsdiep, the North and Wadden Sea. MVRDV were selected as winners by Zeestad, an independent organisation in partnership with the municipality of Den Helder in the international competition to create a new symbol for the city to help it develop a sense of identity, and establish a renewed connection between the city and the sea which became more disconnected after a recent reinforcement of the dike.
The Seasaw for Den Helder is a memorable, undulating public art installation which responds to its context and history, whilst literally representing the dynamics of the sea in its infinite movement.
The installation respects the existing dike whilst allowing visitors and inhabitants to experience both city and sea from a whole new perspective.
The design responds to the current lack of a distinguishable symbol for Den Helder. A town with a remarkable flood defence system, a dike running from the dunes to the harbour blocks sea views. Seasaw makes a new connection between land and water by creating a viewing platform on the dike, and by the sea. In this way, a relationship between Den Helder and the sea is formed. This new installation signals the start of renewal and rediscovery of the dike and its surroundings with a new landmark that matches the identity of Den Helder: tough and energetic.
In addition to the design of Seasaw, a scenic 5-km walking, cycling and hiking route is introduced across the dike to connect it better to both the city and sea. Activating the seafront, this weaving pathway invites visitors and resident to climb the dike and take a look at the other side. At the junction of these routes, Seasaw is added in the form of an infinite loop that serves as a viewing platform towards the city and sea.
Diagrams & Plans
Facts & Credits
Location Den Helder, The Netherlands
Client Zeestad and the municipality of Den Helder
Design MVRDV – Winy Maas, Jacob Van Rijs and Nathalie De Vries
Design Team Jacob van Rijs, Stefan de Koning with Ronald Hoogeveen, Sanne van der Burgh, Geert Folmer, Stavros Gargaretas, Boudewijn Thomas, Mariya Gyaurova, Akshey Krishna Venkatesh, Afrodite Moustroufis, Angel Sanchez Navarro, Boris Tikvarski, Edina Peli, Kristin Schaefer, Katarzyna Nowak, Kevin Loftus, Luca Vacchini, Mirco Facchinelli and Meng Yang
Visualisation Antonio Luca Coco, Tomaso Maschietti, Giovanni Coni and Kirill Emelianov
IMd Consulting engineers ir. Pim Peters RO and ir. Sander Lamping
All images and drawings © MVRDV