Once, Middelkerke, Belgium was a sleepy little fishing village surrounded by nature and waves. However, slowly the natural beauty of the area disappeared behind asphalt, glass and modern buildings. With the creation of an award-winning design, a group of collaborators decided to restore the original landscape and change the look of Middelkerke.

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A large building sitting beside an oceanfront

The Venue Building Middelkerke received an International Architecture Award, the oldest and most prestigious global building award. The design was created under Debuild, working with DEVLA Landscape Architecture I Urbanism and ZJA. Collaborators from the Nautilus Consortium also contributed.

Related: Middelkerke Casino blends into the surrounding Belgian sand dunes

A venue building that is shaped cylindrically

Additionally, the coastline will be restored to its original dune landscape, with the beautiful new building at the center. The existing sea dike was also reinforced. The building itself will house a casino, restaurant, hotel, event space and an underground parking garage. This creates a car-free zone on the street level.

A map layout of the venue building

A new public square, built around an existing public green space, will be front and center. The town itself, the square and the beach are all connected here. The public square is beautiful enough to be its own attraction. Sea lyme grass grows in the area, while beautiful water elements and sand gullies add to the overall look.

A curved pathway

Furthermore, the building itself is designed with Accoya wood curved beams. Recyclable materials were used where possible. It all stands against the backdrop of the water, a beautiful spot where nature is honored and the landscape is preserved.

A building by a water landscape during a foggy day

The award-winning design not only preserved the landscape, it restores it back to its former glory and honors it with public spaces where it can be viewed and enjoyed. Meanwhile, the incredible building at the center of it all sits surrounded by nature, proof that amazing design doesn’t have to push out the existing vegetation and wildlife.

+ ZJA and DELVA

Images via DELVA