Gather by the Colossal Beachfront Bench for a Memorable Meet-Up

The challenge of reinforcing the coastal landscape of Middelkerke, Belgium, in response to rising sea levels necessitates not only enhancing coastal defences but also envisioning an appealing and resilient coastal strip for residents and visitors alike, embodying the dynamic interface between architecture and climate adaptation.

Coastal Reinforcement and Boost for City Centre

The coastal strip design between Middelkerke and Westende, is highlighting a climate-adaptive approach that integrates coastal defence with aesthetic appeal. The grass embankment, serving as reinforcement for the existing dyke, introduces greenery to a previously urban-dominated coastline. The pedestrian area has been strategically positioned away from high-rise buildings, enhancing the overall coastal experience.

Work of Art as an Eye-Catcher

The eye-catcher of this coastal project is a 50-metre-long work of art at Rauschenbergplein in the centre of Westende. This element in the public space is a multifunctional plaza bench where meeting is central.

Philip Moyersoen designed the bench and talks enthusiastically about his idea behind the design, “Westende is a seaside resort where many families come, the Rauschenberg bench is a place that lies in the sun all day. It forms the connection between the town and the beach. At a family seaside resort, this is a place to meet from morning to night, in summer and winter. The bench is shaped like a boomerang and follows the rules of the golden ratio. We have taken the sun and wind into account. In terms of material, wood gives a warm look and ensures that you can also sit there comfortably in winter.”

In addition, the director of Domain and Buildings at the Municipality of Middelkerke emphasizes the importance of creating an attractive public space alongside ensuring coastal safety, citing positive economic impacts observed as a result.

Grand Custom Project

In a grand custom project for the public space, Grijsen has undertaken the challenge of crafting a unique 50-meter-long bench where every beam is distinct. Patrick Grijsen emphasizes the complexity: “Not a single beam in this bench is identical, making it an immense undertaking.”

The engineering phase involved transforming the design into a structurally sound form, which presented significant challenges. Subsequently, meticulous programming was necessary to ensure each beam was precisely cut by the CNC machine, incorporating the required angles and curves. The Grijsen team then diligently installed the wooden cladding onto the steel frame, aligning it meticulously to achieve the desired visual and functional outcome. This project showcases the intersection of craftsmanship and engineering in public space design.

Want to know more about this project? Have a look at our website.

Published on May 21, 2024

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