The Zwin is a nature reserve at the North Sea coast, on the Belgian-Dutch border. It consists of the entrance area of a former tidal inlet which during the Middle Ages connected the North Sea with the ports of Sluis and Bruges inland. The Zwin inlet was formed originally by a storm that broke through the Flemish coast in the 12th century, creating a tidal channel that reached some 15 km inland. And it was also connected, through another channel, to the mouth of the Scheldt further north-east. The new waterway offered access to the sea to the inland city of Bruges, which consequently rose to become one of the foremost medieval port cities of Europe. The present-day nature reserve was founded in 1952 and is famous for its large variety in salt-resistant flora and sea birds.

Stijlgroep made a proposal for the transformation of the nature park to a daily changing nature experience: among others an all-season visitor centre and an observation post. Reflecting the brand proposition of change, we turned this tourist attraction into an evolving and transformative nature experience.

Location: West Flandres, Belgium
Client: West Flandres
Partners: KCAP
Date: 2010 - 2011
Category: Strategy, Landscape Architecture