Educational Center, Afsluitdijk, NL 3rd Place, World Sustainability Centre Competition
Soms Atoll, (the 'Sometimes Atoll') expands the dialog of architectural sustainability beyond the scale of green technology. This new home for the World Sustainability Centre on the North Sea coast of Holland is located along the Afsluitdijk, a twenty mile infrastructural division between salt and freshwater, between natural sea and man-made lake. Soms Atoll reorganizes existing tidal flats to propose an understanding of sustainability as alignment with natural cycles rather than mastery over nature through technology.
The Soms Atoll offers postcard picture perfect silhouettes across the water - but not upon demand. Visitors may arrive to find they need to wait two hours in anticipation for that perfect island to appear. Some may wait to see the perfect crescent of the lagoon form in the Atoll while others may be more interested in the tidal pools once the lagoon recedes. For all who visit, they must start to align their desires with the rhythm of nature's cycles.
Project Team: Thurman Grant, Lisa Hollywood, Darius Woo, Jaclyn Thomforde, Hiroyuki Sugiyama, Yvette Escalante