Norddeich National Park Promenade
This project merges the concerns of nature and coastal protection and the interests of tourism into a symbiosis which is profitable in every respect.
On an area of 13.6 ha, the entire beach area between the water’s edge and the dyke has been redesigned and revitalised by attractive beach and leisure facilities.
The redesign of Norddeich’s beach section under the name “Norddeich National Park Promenade” is part of the contemporary redesign and beautification of the entire counter-dyke area. The aim of this huge tourist infrastructure project is to create a high quality of stay and recreation, as well as new, varied leisure activities which can be used by all people.
Tourism on the North Sea coast is of great economic importance for the region, but it also poses enormous challenges with regard to nature conservation and coastal protection. The high number of visitors and the construction of tourist facilities such as hotels, holiday homes or campsites are polluting the sensitive ecosystems of the coastal region.
So, when redesigning the beach area of Norddeich, the Norden district as a developer was concerned with striking a balance between the concerns of nature conservation and coastal protection on the one hand, and the interests of tourism and economic development on the other.
On an area of 13.6 ha, the entire beach area between the water’s edge and the dyke has been redesigned and revitalised by attractive beach and leisure facilities. In addition, the dunes have been preserved, rehabilitated and extended to the west.
The design was entrusted to Arge WES LandschaftsArchitektur with INROS Lackner. The overall design concept was developed by WES LandschaftsArchitektur.
D – 22303 Hamburg
D – 10625 Berlin
The design had to reconcile the desired attractiveness of the beach area and the tourist offers with the concerns of nature conservation and coastal protection.
Goals and Challenges
Tourism is an important economic factor for the Norden district, because the North Sea coast is a very popular tourist destination. In order to increase the attractiveness of the region and to assert itself against the offers of the islands of Norderney and Juist directly opposite, the aim was to create versatile leisure activities which could be used by everyone. So accessibility was of the greatest importance in the entire project area, from the dyke crossing to the water’s edge.
The design had to reconcile the desired attractiveness of the beach area and the tourist offers with the concerns of nature conservation and coastal protection. In addition, the connection of the village Norddeich with the dune and beach landscape had to be improved.
The total construction time was four years, but the net construction time was only 20 months. This was due to the fact that the construction period was limited to five months a year (April to September) due to the dyke protection and storm surge protection.
The promenade offers visitors a barrier-free circular route along the dyke, the dunes, the beach and the water’s edge.
Circular route and World Natural Heritage
The heart of the project is the promenade, which is laid out as a circular path. It offers visitors a barrier-free circular route along the dyke, the dunes, the beach and the water’s edge. A new, barrier-free ramp system at the guest’s house makes it easier to cross the dyke.
Along the edge of the water, the newly built revetment and the staircases in it shape the image. These extensive staircases offer generous facilities for sitting and lying down as well as access to the water. They are also equipped with showers and foot showers. A ramp system with a slope of three percent also allows people with disabilities to access the water.
Another goal of the renovation of the Norddeich National Park promenade was to make the Wadden Sea World Heritage tangible for visitors. In addition to the redesign of the dune, an educational trail with 20 stations, a salt marsh landscape, an information container as well as play and adventure elements for children and young people were also created.
The beach landscape is divided into three areas: the dog beach is located in the west, the swimming beach in the middle and the sports beach in the east.
Problems and peculiarities
Due to the influence of the tides, especially during the storm tides, and the construction in the tidal area, all the structures and installations had to be statically dimensioned against the maximum water level and wave impact. Step systems, ramps and the revetment to the Wadden Sea could only be erected at low water, i.e. in a time window of just six hours.
For reasons of dyke protection, all the other facilities had to be built in a way which made them easy to dismantle, because this is what will happen to them at the beginning of the storm tide season – including showers, play and sports equipment, fitness equipment, wooden benches, sanitary and information containers as well as the handrails into the Wadden Sea.
More Sports Media
The aim was to give all guests the opportunity to experience the promenade and the Wadden Sea regardless of any restrictions they might have.
A journey for all
The design should also meet the accessibility quality criteria for a “Travel for All” certification. The aim was to give all guests the opportunity to experience the promenade and the Wadden Sea regardless of any restrictions they might have. “Travel for All” is a rating and information system which allows guests to assess the suitability of tourist offers for their individual needs themselves.
The state of Lower Saxony has awarded the project due to its accessibility in the categories People with walking disabilities, Wheelchair users, People with visual impairments and Blind people. In addition, the Norddeich National Park Promenade has already been nominated for the “German Landscape Architecture Award 2023” and the “Polis Award 2023”.
The new Norddeich National Park promenade merges the concerns of nature and coastal protection and the interests of tourism into a symbiosis which is profitable in every respect.
Visible results are the direct accessibility of the Wadden Sea via barrier-free ramps and steps, the creation of an extraordinary leisure, sports and games offer as well as the preservation and rehabilitation of the dune, salt meadow and Wadden Sea.
Of course, this exemplary project is also a great benefit for all users, whether or not they have restricted mobility, for old and young, locals and holidaymakers – simply for all people.