Thursday, December 17, 2009
"Yesterday, Bustler published the winning design of the World Sustainability Centre competition. This international contest asked designer to envision a home for the World Sustainability Centre that highlights innovative techniques in the field of water, sustainable energy and nature and is housed in an innovative and high-profile building. The concept had to incorporate the Afsluitdijk, the great historic dike that has been preventing floods in the North of the Netherlands for 75 years now.
“Soms Atoll”, the entry by Los Angeles-based Radical Craft / Joshua G. Stein, was awarded 3rd place."
"The World Sustainability Centre is planned for a location along the Afsluidijk, a major infrastructural barrier in the north of Holland which protects a large region from flooding. One of the fundamental challenges of the context is the scale of the natural and man-made environment in which it is situated and how it could significantly impact development in this region. The Afsluitdijk connects two major land masses across a stretch over 30km wide with only vast expanses of sky and water to either side. Any discrete object building located on the dike risks serving as a simple rest stop on the way to some other final destination – too easily an opportunity for a quick tourist photo before heading on. Soms Atoll (the ‘Sometimes’ Atoll) operates at the scale of its context, becoming a destination landscape unto itself. The Soms Atoll raises the potential for the Centre’s impact on both tourists and its local context by allowing it to operate as a terrain of discovery rather than a point of explanation..."