Search anything

Close search
Dutch Design Awards 2021


New archipelago with settlement, designed for and by nature

This project was part of DDW 2021
Marker Wadden - Zicht op nederzetting, april 2021 — © Theo Baart

The Marker Wadden is a new and robust nature reserve that has been innovatively developed with nature and for nature. It is an archipelago of five islands, constructed using sand, clay and silt from the Markermeer, that is protected by two rows of dunes. One of the islands is open for the public.

Focus on nature development

The Marker Wadden are a new part of the Netherlands. The construction of these islands will improve the water quality of the Markermeer. A unique water and bird paradise has already been created in a short time. The archipelago serves nature development and is therefore an important source of research. The off-grid settlement houses researchers and administrators and offers space for tourists.
The Marker Wadden offer the experience of the sublime: water, nature, endlessness and the occasional shelter go hand-in-hand. With dunes - connected by a dam on the south-west and north-west sides, the landscape plan offers shelter from the waves, behind which a swamp landscape will develop that is in open connection with the Markermeer. The construction of gradual transitions from land to water adds essential habitats to the system. The urban plan stages the visit from the open water and the spatial composition of the ensemble of buildings. The architectural idiom is in line with this. The family of characteristic volumes has sharp silhouettes, clustered in a strict geometry, enhancing the intimacy and contrast with the landscape.


The Marker Wadden are an example of integral and sustainable design and construction. The integral collaboration between designers, builders and dredging company has led to innovative solutions. For example, an economical way of reclaiming land has been developed by dredging from extraction wells, which are used to fill compartments of robust sanddams in stages. By mixing the bottom material and sand, the volume increases. In this way, the problem of 'sludge' contributes to the solution. Rows of dunes facilitate the creation of marshland.
The urban plan was drawn up in the form of a script, in which the visitor's experience was central: from the openness of the water to the shelter of the settlement.
The off-grid and low-impact desire led to special shape, construction, transport and material choices. For example, the size of the prefabricated buildings on shore was adapted to the means of transport to the island. Prefabrication minimized the impact of construction activities on the island. Due to the precise design, solar panels are unobtrusively present, the wind turbine pops up when necessary. All wood for construction comes from the forests of Natuurmonumenten.

Play video
Play video

Marker Wadden van boven — © Straystone_Peter Leenen

Maker Wadden - nederzetting (2020) — © Theo Baart

Marker Wadden - vlonderpad — © Theo Baart

Marker Wadden - nederzetting

Andere deelnemers

Dutch Design Awards 2021

Previous Next