Studio’s SHIFT proposal for the World Sustainability Center in¬†Afsluitdijk, Netherlands sets out to connect the local and global community in a progressive arena of emerging technologies and investigations in a park-like setting near the Wadden Sea. Located along a 20-mile long dike, the center serves as a hot spot for educational, corporate and institutional topics on emergent sustainable practices and technologies. Temporary exhibitions on sustainable topics are stationed on floating piers and are also integrated into the natural landscape. In order to compensate for its remote physical location, the state of the art research facility projects an iconic form in order to inspire and capture the attention of visitors.

Open space seeks to engage discussion between the clustered formation of the buildings around an observation tower that overlooks the region. Crossed between the opening in the observational tower is a staircase that alternates views of the Wadden Sea and Lake Ijssel, finally descending to a theater, gift shop, and a public exhibition space in close proximity to a hotel. Additionally, food production techniques, a marina, and a research landscape area are located along the waterfront ampitheater that is partly submersed and accessible to the public.

The research building is clad by a metal-panel system that contains solid solar panels, perforated screen panels, and void panels, where solar exposure proliferates at different levels. Moreover, this vertical cladding has the potential of serving as a habitat for the growth of energy producing plants, like algae. The lake nearby serves as both a rainwater collection site for the building as well as a cooling tower for the mechanical systems.



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