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SeaSaw, by MVRDV, makes unique connection between sea and city

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Image: © MVRDV

Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Zeestad and the municipality of Den Helder (Netherlands) today announced MVRDV as winners in the competition for a new public installation on the northern dike of the city of Den Helder. The jury praised the winning entry for demonstrating “an energetic spirit of the city is represented as an infinite form.” 

The new landmark represents the connection between city and sea. Completion is set for 2019. SeaSaw is a new symbol for Den Helder and establishes a renewed connection between the city and the sea.

Den Helder is located on the northernmost point of Holland and is home to the country’s main naval base. The city’s unique location and heritage have made it a viewing point for the Marsdiep, North and Wadden Sea. MVRDV were selected as winners by Zeestad, an independent organisation in partnership with the municipality of Den Helder in the international competition to create a new symbol for the city to help it develop a sense of identity, and establish a renewed connection between the city and the sea which became more disconnected after a recent reinforcement of the dike. 

The design responds to the current lack of a distinguishable symbol for Den Helder. A town with a remarkable flood defence system, a dike running from the dunes to the harbour blocks sea views. SeaSaw makes a new connection between land and water by creating a viewing platform on the dike, and by the sea. In this way, a relationship between Den Helder and the sea is formed. This new installation signals the start of renewal and rediscovery of the dike and its surroundings with a new landmark that matches the identity of Den Helder: tough and energetic. Visitors can walk in either direction in this public art installation. 

A five-kilometres walking, cycling and hiking route is also introduced across the dike connecting the city to the sea.