Dries Jehoul

Dries Jehoul

Tidal Stones. UHasselt (Belgium)

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The sea level will rise significantly over the coming century due to Global Warming. Scientific studies have shown that the Flemish coastline can offer no more resistance in the long term. Therefore it is appropriate to give a piece of land back to the sea as an expansion. This is about the interaction between land and water and the effect of the interaction in the border area (= polderlandscape) between both. Another problem on the coast is the decline and ageing of coastal tourism. There is an urgent need of new recreational attractions to attract people.
Fixed in this polderlandscape, a sculpture of concrete ‘stones’ tries to form a continuity between a new water landscape – depending on the tides of the Belgian coast - and a public space combined with residences. In this way the buildings – interpreted as sculptures continuing in the existing landscape - form a de-polderd island, a transition area where the sea can come in and create a new kind of landscape. By implementing a mixed program of recreation and housing, this design counters the decline and ageing of coastal tourism at the Belgian coast. The recreational program consists of a public square - surrounded by five public functions - and a place for water activities. The function of each building – except for the water-related buildings - can be changed because of the integrated technical core, which is removable. The plot is situated in Wilskerke, a little village one mile off the coast. In the course of time the polderlandscape will accept these ‘Tidal Stones’ as a part of it’s own nature. The hypothetical context of a flood control area, may trigger a provocative architectural thinking on a larger scale.






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