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Let the created tension between fresh and salt be the conceptual starting point of this project.
Let the created tension between fresh and salt be the conceptual starting point of this project.

Zeeland needs a location where the symbiosis, interplay between aqua-, agriculture and the cross-over with the industry can get a face. The ingredients are already present: • locally fragmented knowledge about aquaculture, agriculture, biotechnology, greenhouse horticulture. • corridor of innovative industry as a sales market, with the right innovationspirit • less suitable, saline agricultural area
Zeeland needs a location where the symbiosis, interplay between aqua-, agriculture and the cross-over with the industry can get a face. The ingredients are already present: • locally fragmented knowledge about aquaculture, agriculture, biotechnology, greenhouse horticulture. • corridor of innovative industry as a sales market, with the right innovationspirit • less suitable, saline agricultural area

In this project the aim is a new large-scale polder-model. Architecture as a scale- and test-model for an landscape integration of it. Saline Pointer will be, as it were, a single extract, test piece. On one of the most contrasty locations of Zeeland, in Terneuzen, Saline Pointer will embrace both worlds exactly on this tensionfield of fresh-salt, outdoor-dike. The analogy with its location itself is therefore evident. The lock-complex is by definition the physical representation of that tensionfield of inner-outer dike, salty-sweet.
In this project the aim is a new large-scale polder-model. Architecture as a scale- and test-model for an landscape integration of it. Saline Pointer will be, as it were, a single extract, test piece. On one of the most contrasty locations of Zeeland, in Terneuzen, Saline Pointer will embrace both worlds exactly on this tensionfield of fresh-salt, outdoor-dike. The analogy with its location itself is therefore evident. The lock-complex is by definition the physical representation of that tensionfield of inner-outer dike, salty-sweet.

The installation for the functioning of the cycles becomes the toolbox of physical resources to spatially define the program, to stimulate, structure, optimalise the dialogue between the target groups Researchers – Innovators – Visitors . The programmatic functions take place between the installation-technical ones. Each hub (lab, office, restaurant..) will be defined by a ' flower basket '. The research greenhouses on the top floor are understood as a ' foliage ' of water lilies. Together with the "flowers", they will be functioning very analogue as water lilies. Both in the sense of nutrient transport, as in the quality of control of natural daylight.
The installation for the functioning of the cycles becomes the toolbox of physical resources to spatially define the program, to stimulate, structure, optimalise the dialogue between the target groups Researchers – Innovators – Visitors . The programmatic functions take place between the installation-technical ones. Each hub (lab, office, restaurant..) will be defined by a ' flower basket '. The research greenhouses on the top floor are understood as a ' foliage ' of water lilies. Together with the "flowers", they will be functioning very analogue as water lilies. Both in the sense of nutrient transport, as in the quality of control of natural daylight.

Physical elements normally decisive to a building's horizontality and verticality (stairs, floors, walls) are here integrated in a single multi-functional element.
Physical elements normally decisive to a building's horizontality and verticality (stairs, floors, walls) are here integrated in a single multi-functional element.

A body whose exterior reveals slightly more than just its frontage: the rectilinear exterior need not be an obstruction to a possible organic use illustrated inside the building. Far from it. Here the facades are educational 'sections' that suggest or demonstrate an effect of landscape, way past the physical outline of the building itself. Architecture as a medium for meaning and communication, with the intervention a locus of meaning.
A body whose exterior reveals slightly more than just its frontage: the rectilinear exterior need not be an obstruction to a possible organic use illustrated inside the building. Far from it. Here the facades are educational 'sections' that suggest or demonstrate an effect of landscape, way past the physical outline of the building itself. Architecture as a medium for meaning and communication, with the intervention a locus of meaning.

The research units (greenhouses for saline culture, basins for aquaculture) are integrated in the climate management of the building as a whole. Here architecture is to mimic nature by integrating waste products to the maximum for more efficient recycling. Architecture as a living witness of ecological symbiosis.
The research units (greenhouses for saline culture, basins for aquaculture) are integrated in the climate management of the building as a whole. Here architecture is to mimic nature by integrating waste products to the maximum for more efficient recycling. Architecture as a living witness of ecological symbiosis.




PROJECTINDEX
 
SALINE POINTER: AN INNOVATION CAMPUS FOR SALINE AGRICULTURE
Academie voor Architectuur en Stedenbouw - Tilburg
ARCHITECTURE

At the interface of two worlds...
The designed recycling research building demonstrates in its working cycle and architectural organization, how aquaculture and agriculture can be reconciled in a saline agriculture.
In the province of Zeeland, the world of saltwater fishing beyond the dykes and the freshwater polders on the landside have been distinct entities since the earliest days. They are two worlds that have gradually turned away from one another. Human intervention has made Zeeland a region of contrasts. Freshwater against saline, manmade against natural, within the dykes against beyond them, agriculture against aquaculture – these oppositions are typical of Zeeland today. Climate change – the rise in sea level, the salinization of farmland – is now compelling these seeming antitheses to face one another squarely...
This project shows how they can constructively meet each other halfway. The interface of these worlds offers the perfect opportunity to give direction to the potential of their rapprochement, interweaving and reconciliation through a strategic architectural intervention.
Saline Pointer was created to give precise expression to the potential dialogue between these contrasts, and do it at different scales. For the first time the potential relationship between these two worlds has been translated into a recycling research building, which in terms of operation and organization represents and demonstrates how symbiosis can be achieved between the flora and fauna of those two worlds through the exchange of nutrients, with saline water as the common denominator.
Saline Pointer offers Zeeland the opportunity to gather together regional as well as cross-border science, research and knowledge into an icon for this saline agriculture. Supported by the players involved – the authorities, national and international universities, businesspeople, Zeeland farmers and potential researchers – it could give sufficient support as the inspiration for a new saline economy.
As a clear example of industrial symbiosis, in which waste products of the one industry are utilized as raw materials of the other, this project, nestling at the head of the Gent-Terneuzen Canal Zone, can give a boost to the local innovative bio-based industry by being part of that industry.
By making use of mimicry, useful lessons from nature and the operational principles of the nearby system of locks and integrating these at the architectural scale, a research environment has been designed as the first of its kind that is able to hitch, along energy efficient lines, the research cycles to the climate cycles of the building itself.
This project can be a first step in helping the Netherlands become a role model in a new branch of industry and science by projecting itself as an international interface of knowledge and innovation.
By tackling the local symptoms of a global phenomenon, the Zeeland Delta can serve as a frame of reference for resolving issues in other deltas.
So let the Netherlands, in this case Zeeland, do what it's good at, namely turning a seemingly unfavourable situation into an asset!