For the past ten years the Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) have been working to strengthen some weak links in the Dutch coastline. Alongside building the required coastal defense, the coast zone investments also ensure that Katwijk remains a tourist destination and supporting the local economy of seaside towns. With the need to strengthen the Katwijk coast, care is taken to preserve the value of the existing town and, ultimately, how this can also be made stronger.
Relation between town and beach
In an interactive planning process OKRA defined the most important values of Katwijk; namely the relationship between the village and the beach. The chosen dyke-in-dune coastal defences, a stone-lined embankment covered and reinforced by dunes, sufficient low dunes would be built with minimal disruption between town and beach. With this construction the city of Katwijk could also realise an underground parking garage behind the dyke.
Natural dune landscape
The dyke and garage are completely hidden from view by natural-looking dunes. An extensive network of paths has been built to connect village and beach, offering views of the sea. The highlight of the design is a broad dune transition that serves as a welcome space and event plaza, in total forming a vibrant heart for the coast of Katwijk coast.