An Ode to the Manmade Land

For the concept “Ode to the Manmade Land,” the duo of Ben van der Meer & Lambert Kamps drew inspiration from the relatively short history of Lauwersoog and the significance of dikes for the Netherlands, Groningen, and Friesland. Lauwersoog holds a key position in this context.

With this design, the duo aims to tell the story of the land created by human hands, which is what Lauwersoog represents. Inspired by the situation on the Frisian side of Lauwersoog, the dike will run alongside the road as it rises, maintaining its full scale as a dike until it abruptly and perhaps somewhat surprisingly ends in the designed “finale” at the designated location—the observation point.

At this point, the dike is cut vertically and terminates with an elegant staircase made from reclaimed wooden parts salvaged from hydraulic engineering works.

This staircase provides access to the observation point, offering views over the harbor buildings, the Wadden Sea, and the Lauwersmeer, as well as both the freshwater and saltwater harbors. Through the elevation of the dike, this artwork symbolizes not only the story of the reclaimed land from the past but also that of the future.

It is one of the first sections of the Dutch dike to be raised significantly above the current delta level, representing the near future of the Dutch coastline in response to the scenario of rising sea levels, which is a global and pressing issue.


Location Lauwersoog, The Netherlands

Year 2020

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