In the seaside resort of Cadzand-Bad, we integrated the need for coastal reinforcement, which is a part of the National programme to turn the coast into a super-storm proof zone, by upgrading the public space. In doing so, we realised a high-quality and attractive new élan for the entire village, with a diversity of atmospheres in which ecology and coastal defences are an integral aspect of the design. The renewed Cadzand-Bad is safe and attractive year-round for residents and tourists alike and is recognisably linked to its surroundings. The success of the interventions forms a solid, widely supported basis for the ground rules of future developments.

Cadzand-Bad, the Netherlands
2012 - 2017
Project area
25,6 ha
Gemeente Sluis
Photography credits
Melle van Dijk, Daniel Nicolas

Ecological dune widening: place for discovery

The basis of the reinforced coastal defence is formed by an ecological dune widening. The planting of the widened dunes consists of local species that increase biodiversity and combat wind erosion. The dune reinforcement is integrated with wide routes for cyclists and pedestrians, each offering special, surprising experiences, from vistas and views to sheltered resting and sitting areas. As a result, the coastal reinforcement has become a varied, ecological dune park where something new can be discovered with each visit.


Breakwaters: opportunity for smart use of space

The breakwaters on both sides of the outflow channel west of Cadzand-Bad also needed strengthening. By spacing these dams further apart, we have created space for an attractive marina. The breakwaters are publicly accessible, and both provide a distinctive experience for pedestrians.

Creator of meaningful places

Heart by the sea – a front to the surroundings

The heart of the renewed Cadzand-Bad consists of a ‘maritime balcony’: a special, central square with staying quality that connects the marina, dune routes, boulevard and surroundings. The maritime balcony makes use of the height differences and forms a sloping square, with special places for views and relaxation as well as celebrations and performances. Underneath the square, cars are housed out of sight. The sloping square also gives the previously concealed Cadzand-Bad a distinct, attractive presence in the surrounding area; visitors recognise the maritime balcony from a distance and are welcomed by the view upon arrival.


Game rules: development as well as connection

On the inner side of the dunes, the existing boulevard De Wielingen has been upgraded to enhance its quality of accommodation and establish a new connection with the dune area. The boulevard has been greened with dune planting and has become a primary pedestrian area. A set of game rules allow new developments here while maintaining visual and ecological connection with the dune area.


Spatial quality – economic impulse

In addition to ensuring future-proofing, security and ecological anchoring, the upgrade has also given Cadzand-Bad a strong economic and social boost. The seasonal economy has been substituted by a year-round economy. The variety of public spaces pleasantly intertwines daily life with tourism and offers both residents and visitors plenty of room for hustle and bustle, tranquillity and quality of stay.


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